Opponents of the bill say it's too vague and murky
10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free
Assassination of U.S. citizens
Immunity from judicial review
Continual monitoring of citizens
Lawmakers withdraw support of anti-piracy bills after online protest
(CNN) -- Some lawmakers are rethinking their support of controversial anti-piracy bills that led to
some websites shutting down in protest.
The protest was in response to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill, a piece of proposed legislation
that is working its way through Congress. A Senate committee approved a similar bill in May called the
Protect IP Act (PIPA), which is now pending before the full Senate.
The protest seemed to change the minds of lawmakers, including those that had strongly backed the
bills in the past.
"We can find a solution that will protect lawful content. But this bill is flawed & that's why I'm withdrawing
my support. #SOPA #PIPA," Republican Sen. Roy Blunt wrote on his official Twitter page.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who was an initial co-sponsor of PIPA, reversed his position.
"I have decided to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act. Furthermore, I encourage Senator Reid to
abandon his plan to rush the bill to the floor. Instead, we should take more time to address the concerns
raised by all sides, and come up with new legislation that addresses Internet piracy while protecting free
and open access to the Internet," Rubio wrote on a Facebook post.
Rep Lee Terry (R-Neb.), an original co-sponsor of SOPA, also said he had changed his view.
"Thank you for your concern about #SOPA. I have asked to have my name removed from the bill. However,
the economic impact of IP theft is real and a solution is needed," Terry wrote on Facebook.
Wikipedia, one of the websites that shut down on Wednesday, returned Thursday with the message:
"Thank you for protecting Wikipedia. We're not done yet."
Clicking on that message takes a Wikipedia viewer to a thank you letter and instructions on how to
continue fighting against anti-piracy bills that critics say could amount to censorship.
This is what democracy looks like: Following Wednesday’s mass online blackout protest against the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) and the “PROTECT IP Act” (PIPA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has canceled the January 24 vote on PIPA, first reported in a tweet from Think Progress. The vote postponement comes after 19 senators came out against PIPA, amidst the blackout, seven of whom are former co-sponsors of the bill.
SOPA, which resides in the House, and PIPA are anti-piracy bills aimed at curbing the illegal distribution of copyrighted material by websites that operate outside the US. Opponents say the ambiguous wording of these bills could wreak untold harm on the Internet by stifling legitimate free speech, harming online innovation and the technology startup investment environment, and potentially damage the underlying framework of the Internet by requiring Internet service providers to tamper with the domain name system (DNS).
While the cancellation of the PIPA vote stands as a major victory for the opposition, the bill is not entirely dead, as it will likely come up for a vote later in the year, potentially giving more time for supporters of this bill to sway more senators into their camp. SOPA is also still very much alive, as markup hearings will resume next month.
This story is still developing. We will have more to come as additional information becomes available.
UPDATE: The cancellation of the Jan. 24 PIPA vote has been confirmed by Sen. Reid himself, who posted this tweet to his Twitter account:
what sort of crazy world is this if the politicians act based on the demands of the citizens
is this earth 2
All Republicans? I wish Democrats were so attuned to the will of their constituents.