While Batman may be the caped crusader of Gotham, the "laughing cat" is currently protecting our digital world.
Last night the Internet Defense League revealed it's cat symbol onto a New York building near Chinatown, in congruence with latest Batman flick hitting theaters. The laughing cat was was also spotted in San Francisco, Washington DC and Mongolia, per The Daily Dot.
This move marked the League's official launch, meaning when the Internet is now in danger, there is superhero (of sorts) to call upon.
Wired reports that the Internet Defense League was an idea between Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and the internet activist group Fight for the Future. Since its announcement this past May, other advocacy groups and large websites have joined the League, including Mozilla, WordPress and Grooveshark.
Below is a tweet from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group who supports the League's mission, at the San Francisco launch party. Notice the laughing cat in the background, lighting up the night sky.
— EFF (@EFF) July 20, 2012
Last January, over 7,000 websites went "dark" in protest of anti-piracy bills Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP (PIPA). According to the League's website, the collaboration of networks hopes to act as "emergency broadcast system" to spread awareness, borrowing from the methodology that effectively killed these restrictive bills.
"With the combined reach of our websites and social networks, we can be massively more effective than any one organization," the Internet Defense League website reads. Ohanian explains how the superhero-like group will call users to action with the following statements below, per Wired:
“At a moment of notice, this kind of digital bat signal will go up in the air and you’ll get notified and have the opportunity to take action however you see fit on your site. It could be a slew of buttons that give links to whatever we’re doing, a call to action to sign a petition, or a couple of lines of code that you put on your site that allows someone to call their senator. It will be up to the web owner to decide…. We’re trying to encourage as much from the bottom up, because that’s how the internet works.”
During the formation of the Internet Defense League, according to TG Daily, some likened the collaboration to "a bat-signal for the Internet." Thus a cat, what many say is the unofficial mascot of the internet, will be projected in times of supposed danger.
What do you think about the Internet Defense League? Do you believe this open network can stop legislation like SOPA again? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or tweet us at @HuffPostTech.
BEFORE YOU GO
Flip through the gallery to see 11 huge sites that "blacked out" to protest SOPA and PIPA earlier this year.