Internet Defense League Lighting ‘Catsignal’ for Web Freedom
The Internet Defense League (IDL), a collection of organizations and individuals promoting Internet freedom across the world, wants to make its mid-July launch something special.
The plan? Collect $19,000 to fund at least five giant “catsignals” that will light up the night sky in cities around the world in a geeky nod toward Internet culture’s love of cats and the simultaneous release of The Dark Knight Rises.
In Batman lore, the “batsignal” is lit by police to get the caped crusader’s attention whenever trouble strikes Gotham City. In the real world, the IDL wants the “catsignal” to become a symbol of organized activity against online censorship.
Setting up an actual catsignal spotlight is a bit out of the bounds of reality, so the IDL is using a combination of standard spotlights and digital projectors to create a similar effect.
If the IDL raises the money it’s after, catsignals will go up on launch night (July 19) in New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., London and Ulaar Bataar (that’s in Mongolia — yes, Mongolia). The League wants people in other cities to get to work planning similar events, too. People who follow the signals will find themselves at an IDL launch party.
Donating to the IDL’s launch campaign comes with some tangible benefits: $10 gets you a membership card, $30 nets a “cat signal torch light” keychain, $500 gets your city its own high-powered spotlight.
“We are very happy to be sharing a launch date with Batman,” reads the IDL’s website. “Everyone who took part in defeating SOPA, PIPA and ACTA this year are legitimate real-life superheroes. Sure, the film’s parent company probably has bats$% [sic] crazy plans for our internet (and yes, they gave a role in the movie to a pro-PIPA Senator). But Batman? He’s awesome.”
So far, confirmed members of the IDL include Reddit, Mozilla, WordPress, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and several other websites and organizations. More members are expected to be announced during the IDL’s official launch late next week.
Another petition calling for the protection of the open Internet, the Declaration of Internet Freedom, has support from some of the same organizations.