White House expresses concern over SOPA, anti-piracy bills

By Andrew Jones
Saturday, January 14, 2012 13:45 EDT
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President Barack Obama. Image via AFP.
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The Obama administration has joined in on the concern over the Internet anti-piracy bills being discussed in Congress.

On the White House blog Saturday morning, administration officials responded to two petitions calling for President Obama to veto the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and any similar bills.

“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,” they said.

“Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small. We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet.”

The Obama administration’s statement comes during new developments with the anti-piracy bills.

House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) said Friday that the controversial provision requiring Internet providers to block the domain names of overseas websites accused of hosting copyright content would be removed from SOPA. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-MI) promised a day before to remove the provision in the Senate’s version, the PROTECT IP Act.

Saturday morning, Rep. Darrell Issa indicated that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor promised him that SOPA “would not be taken up” in the House until a ‘consensus’ on anti-piracy legislation is found.

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones is a staff writer/reporter for Raw Story. Besides covering politics, he is also a freelance sports journalist, as well as a slam poetry and music artist. You can follow him on Twitter @sluggahjells.
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