Senators Rand Paul, Jerry Moran And Maria Cantwell All Warn That PROTECT IP Will Kill Jobs
from the good-for-them dept
Quite an interesting day. Having Rep. Nancy Pelosi come out against SOPA was quite something. But the Senate has still been pretty quiet. However, it appears that some Senators saw the public outcry against online censorship, against regulating internet companies, against changing the basic regulatory and technological framework that the internet has been built on… and realized that perhaps they shouldn’t stay quiet any longer either. Senator Wyden, of course, has been vocal about his opposition to PROTECT IP (and has put a hold on the bill), but now Senators Rand Paul, Jerry Moran and Maria Cantwell have also come out with a statement against PROTECT IP, saying that they, too, will put a hold on PROTECT IP.
Our fear, which is shared by many, is that S. 968 as currently written will have the unintended consequences of undermining our nation’s national security and our goals to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation.
As currently written, the Protect IP Act and the companion Stop Online Piracy Act legislation in the House unnecessarily risk an overbroad application of the new and unprecedented tools they provide to the U.S. Department of Justice and the private sector. An excessively expansionary application of these tools would undermine our national security and economic interests.
We are particularly concerned that the proposal authorizes the use of remedies that will undermine the infrastructure of the Internet. The nation’s leading technologists and security experts say these provisions will kill our best hope for actually making the Internet more secure against cyber attacks. We take seriously the alarm expressed by the nation’s leading investors in new online startups who say the proposal will dampen interest in financing the new ideas and businesses of tomorrow, and to legal and human rights experts who caution that the proposal enables the silencing of speech.
With significant concerns from both parties in both Houses of Congress, will supporters of these bills still try to push them forward as is? Will they finally let the tech industry into the discussions? Or will they continue to make ridiculous claims about how this effort to regulate the internet is to “protect the troops”?
Unfortunately, the biggest lobbyists in favor of these bills — the MPAA and the US Chamber of Commerce, mainly — are working over time to get them to move forward. They’re telling Senators and House members that yesterday’s protests, which inundated Congress with calls and letters against SOPA/PIPA were “just a fluke.” We know that’s not the case, but it would be nice if Congress heard that as well.