Supporters of SOPA and PROTECT IP love to claim that their bills are "bipartisan," but it appears that there's also some pretty serious bipartisan agreement that those bills are dangerous over-regulation of the internet. We'd already mentioned Rep. Michele Bachmann coming out against
the SOPA/PROTECT IP approach to regulating the internet, and now Rep. Darrell Issa, head of the powerful Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has joined with Rep. Lofgren to express their concerns about SOPA. The two sent a "bipartisan" letter to their colleagues in the house, pointing to the LA Times article about many of the problems with SOPA
, and argued that this is exactly the wrong approach at the wrong time:
H.R. 3261 unfortunately does not follow a consensus-based approach. It would give the government sweeping new powers to order Internet Service Providers to implement various filtering technologies on their networks. It would also create new forms of private legal action against websites—cutting them off from payment and advertising providers by default, without any court review, upon a complaint from any copyright owner, even one whose work is not necessarily being infringed.
Online innovation and commerce were responsible for 15 percent of U.S. GDP growth from 2004 to 2009, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. Before we impose a sprawling new regulatory regime on the Internet, we must carefully consider the risks that it could pose for this vital engine of our economy.
Nice to see more folks in Congress realizing that just because one industry wants to regulate the internet heavily, it doesn't mean it's actually a good thing for the rest of the economy -- and especially for the sector of the economy that's actually creating jobs and economic growth.