On Friday, January 20th, both the Senate and the House shelved their bills that would have censored websites accused of online piracy of intellectual properties, i.e. music and movies, particularly. Both sides of the aisle decided that it was prudent to ‘postpone’ further discussion on both bills, after the online blackout of a number of major websites on Wednesday. One day before the internet blackout, Heritage Action for America, a sister organization of the conservative think-tank The Heritage Foundation, began putting pressure on the highly controversial legislation. Comments on the bills made by Republican candidates during the CNN televised debate from South Carolina on Thursday added to the pressure on both houses of Congress.
Critics claims that both proposals would ‘hamper the flow of online information’ led to Senate majority leader Harry Reid postponing a planned ballot on the Senate bill known as Protect IP Act, or PIPA. Shortly after, Republican chairman of the House Judiciary committee Lamar Smith announced a delay in action on the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, ”until there is wider agreement on the legislation.”
Of course, a delay only means that further action on either bill will resume when Congress finds a more opportune time to continue the discussion. Heritage Action for America vows to continue their fight against SOPA and PIPA to the end. “Conservatives cannot allow the government to gain another regulatory foothold, especially on the internet!”
Heritage Action for America Article HERE
Heritage Action for America Vote Alert HERE
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), one of the 2010 iCaucus endorsed congressmen, also joined the internet protest on January 18th by blacking out his Facebook Page by putting up his picture with a protest SOPA/PIPA banner of his own design and blocking new comments to his page for the day.
"These bills give the federal government unprecedented power to censor Internet content and will stiffle the free flow of information and ideas," Amash said. "Demand that Congress and the President keep the Internet open and free. Please contact your Representatives and Senators in Congress to urge them to protect your right to free speech by opposing SOPA and PIPA, " Amash urged visitors to his Facebook Page.
Posting from Rep. Amash's website HERE.
iCaucus strongly supports Heritage Action for America in their quest to prevent imposition of government regulations and mandates that could end up harming Internet security and free speech. While we do not support piracy of intellectual property on the internet, any attempt to curb that piracy must not lead to impairment of online freedom of speech.
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