Another bipartisan erosion of our liberties, supported by the Chamber of Commerce, was stopped by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). Thank God someone stands up for internet freedom:
A U.S. Senator from Oregon has once again taken a stand against his own party to defend what he sees as the inherent right to free speech on the Internet, placing a hold on a bill that could force search engines and Internet service providers to block websites deemed to be "infringing" on copyrights.
The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act -- or "PROTECT IP" for short was part of a second attempt to pass provisions of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which failed to clear Congress during its last session thanks to a parliamentary maneuver by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).
And once again, Wyden has stepped forward to ensure those measures do not pass.
"In December of last year I placed a hold on similar legislation, commonly called COICA, because I felt the costs of the legislation far outweighed the benefits," he said in a prepared statement. "After careful analysis of the Protect IP Act, or PIPA, I am compelled to draw the same conclusion."
"I understand and agree with the goal of the legislation, to protect intellectual property and combat commerce in counterfeit goods, but I am not willing to muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth to achieve this objective," Wyden added.
Internet freedom advocates claim the proposed laws could be used to shut down websites that link to other websites that authorities claim to be carrying out infringing activities. Internet advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation said it was "no less dismayed by this most recent incarnation than we were with last year’s draft."