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It was epic. While member sites broadcasted the news online, we blasted our “cat signal” into the sky with crowd-funded spotlights in cities around the world (on Batman's opening night!)

Cat Signal

The Internet Defense League is a network of people and sites who use their massive combined reach to defend the open internet and make it better. Because it can sound the alarm quickly to millions of users, people are calling it “a bat-signal for the Internet”.

For the launch, two ideas seemed awesome: 1) Launch on the night the new Batman movie comes out (the midnight showings for hard-core fans) and 2) have launch parties in cities around the world with real-life bat cat signals.

Cat signal in the sky

So on Thursday night, as Hollywood’s latest superhero movie opens in theaters for a midnight showing, IDL members in select cities can celebrate the launch around powerful spotlights rented for the occasion. The spotlights will beam the IDL’s “cat-signal” into the stratosphere, across obliging clouds, or onto neighboring buildings.

Plus we've got a bunch of other cool items for league members who donate.

Parties like this are being planned in San Francisco, New York, Washington, DC, London and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (!) and a few more we haven't decided on yet. If you'd like to host an event in your city but don't have the funds, email us (include thoughts on the location, the kind of crowd you can draw, and other ideas). If you can self-fund an event in your city, don't bother donating, just email us.

Specifically, we're talking about renting either a standard spotlight, a super-bright digital projector for projecting the cat-signal logo on buildings, or ideally both. In San Francisco we're going all out and getting an enormous spotlight that needs a special truck to power it.

Cat VS Bat

We are very happy to be sharing a launch date with Batman. Everyone who took part in defeating SOPA, PIPA & ACTA this year are legitimate real-life superheroes. Sure, the film's parent company probably has bats$%&# crazy plans for our internet (and yes, they gave a role in the movie to a pro-PIPA Senator). But Batman? He's awesome.

(And if the IDL really takes off, who knows? Maybe we'll get Hollywood out of the lobbying business and back to making movies.)

P.S. We are very excited about the launch, and proud to have your support!

Giant Spotlights, in the sky!

Giant Spotlight

As people went out for midnight showings of Batman, we ran spotlights in 4 cities blasting beams of light into the sky, and our cat signal on neighboring buildings. With your help we made it happen!

Fund This Project


cities funded


cities ready to go


so far of



Donate $5-10

You'll get an IDL member card to carry around in your wallet, handy proof that you are, in fact, a superhero charged with defending the internet.


Donate $30

Cat Flashlight

You'll get your own personal cat signal torch light. Short range, but good for striking fear into the hearts of the free internet's detractors.


Donate $70

You'll get an IDL t-shirt and everything above. Like the league, the t-shirts are both epic and understated.


Donate $150

You'll get everything above, and either a) an Internet Defense League nameplate for the door of your house or office or b) a hand-drawn illustration of you as your choice of superhero. We weren't sure which we liked better, so you pick!


Email to Donate $350

You get an industrial-strength, commercial grade digital projector for one night, great for projecting the cat signal on buildings and low-flying clouds, impromptu movie screenings, etc.


Email to Donate $500+

You get an actual 1.21 gigawatt (or was that kilowatt?) spotlight for an entire night, and your city on the map. Note: this won't project a cat logo, it's more of a giant beam of light.


Email to Donate $850

You get the 1.21gW (sic) spotlight, and the super-bright digital projector, pretty much guaranteeing a hilarious night, and putting your city on the *map*. It's a business expense!


Donate $1000

Your contribution will fund the spotlight (or the spotlight + projector) for an entire night, for some IDL members with the heart, but not the funds.


Email to Donate $2,000

We found a ridiculously powerful spotlight that can also shine the cat-signal. We're told there are only 8 of these in the United States. You get our best effort to find you one, plus a cat signal gobo


What's in the works?

  • Optional code that activates automatically according to criteria you specify (e.g. SOPA returns).
  • Analytics to track the total size and reach of the network.
  • A collaborative system for identifying threats and opportunities.

Are you a developer?

Join the project to build the flexible JavaScript tools that make the Defense League tick.

Who's behind it?

Fight for the future, the authors of several different SOPA blackout tools, and a growing group of volunteers, including Cloudflare. Be in touch.

Get in touch

If you run a big site and want to get in touch or if you want to get more involved, email us at [email protected]

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