Federal Action Alert: Wikipedia et al Go Dark over SOPA and PIPA
Numerous Internet Web sites, such as Wikipedia and Craig’s List, went dark today in protest over bills being considered before the US Congress.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (S. 968) are at the center of this controversy. For TEA Partiers, it can be confusing. TP favorite Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) supports the acts while TP favorites Reps. Michelle Bachman (R-MN), Ron Paul (R-TX), and Paul Ryan (R-WI), as well as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) oppose the acts.
If passed, sites such as Google would be ordered to remove listings of “rogue websites operated and registered overseas” that are found to be dedicated to copyright infringement. The U.S. attorney general would be allowed to take action against foreign websites found to be “dedicated” to copyright infringement. US-based companies, including search engines and domain name registrars, could be ordered to block access to these infringing sites. Online companies, including Google and Facebook, argue that SOPA’s enforcement is tantamount to censorship and will stifle innovation.
According to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) on Meet the Press on Sunday, 15 Jan., a manager’s amendment will be introduced in the latter half of January, which is intended to ameliorate contending parties on this issue. Until the public sees this amendment, it will be impossible to know how the Internet will be controlled.
As free-market types, TEA Partiers generally dislike any government intrusion on the free market. These acts would place some heavy burdens on Web sites. Emotions are palpable on both sides.
Please contact your legislator in the US House and US Senate to express your concern with this potential intrusion on the Internet.
Yours for Freedom,
Joe Guarino, chairman
Richmond TEA Party