Internet Defenders to Mobilize With Cat Signal

New group will use beacon to spread awareness of threats to the open Web

Batman has the bat signal. Defenders of the Internet will soon have a "cat signal," a beacon of light that will be projected from spotlights into the sky or on buildings in major cities to alert the masses when the Internet is threatened by the government.

The alert system is part of the mobilizing tactics of the Internet Defense League, which formally launches this Thursday in a press conference. The IDL has been in the works since late May and already has a website.

Many of the organizations that helped the Internet community rise up en masse to stop anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA from advancing in Congress have already signed up as members of IDL, including Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Mozilla, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, Reddit, TechDirt and CCIA. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who has received all kinds of awards this year for protecting the Internet, will participate in the presser, along with Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kans.)

In addition to the press conference, IDL launch parties—complete with cat signals—are planned for New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. And yes, the launch parties at midnight are timed to coincide with the midnight premiere showing of the new Batman movie.