Conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation includes Fox News, took aim at Google and President Barack Obama on Saturday for their opposition to controversial online piracy legislation.
Obama administration officials responded on Saturday to two petitions calling for President Obama to veto the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and any similar bills, saying they would "not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet."
"So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery," Murdoch said in a tweet.
Activists and Internet professionals argue that the bills give outside agencies too much control over Internet content and could result in censorship and the erosion of free speech.
Internet-base companies like Google and Yahoo oppose the measure, saying it would put U.S. tech policy on par with “China, Malaysia and Iran.”
"Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying," Murdoch said in a follow up tweet.
"Just been to google search for mission impossible. Wow, several sites offering free links. I rest my case," he added.
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.
With reporting by Andrew Jones