SOPA Threatens Internet Censorship, White House Refuses to Back Proposed Bill

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By Benge Nsenduluka, CP Reporter
January 16, 2012|7:07 pm

As a growing number of companies unite to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the White House confirmed that it will not support the proposed bill.

Known as H.R.3261, SOPA was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 26 2011 and if passed would affect all Internet users.

Introduced by Republican congressman, Lamar Seeligson Smith, the bill is designed to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property, according to Politico.

In a direct response to concerns about SOPA, the White House confirmed that it opposes SOPA in a key address entitled Combating Online Piracy while Protecting an Open and Innovative Internet.

"We will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet," administration officials wrote.

Ultimately, Smith and approximately 31 co-sponsors of the bill are seeking to criminalize the downloading of media content such as movies, movies and even pictures.

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If the bill is passed, Internet users and social networking sites would be prosecuted for sharing what would ultimately become "privately owned" content.

The Christian Post previously reported on the widespread backlash and calls to boycott GoDaddy, one of the biggest Web hosting and Internet domain registrar companies.

GoDaddy was initially in favor of SOPA but quickly backtracked after calls to boycott began, according to Fox News.

The call to boycott came from “Fred,” a regular user of social networking site reddit.com who first expressed his disdain of GoDaddy's support of SOPA in a letter to the company attracting thousands who participated in an official boycott.

"My heart was broken, I've used them for years … I didn't like the generic letter they sent back to me so I posted a call to boycott. I didn't know it would catch on the way it did," Fred told Fox.

Many social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter would be forced to shut down because the bill poses more strict and highly controlled Internet regulations, which would make these sites accountable for users who are in breach.

Critics in favor of SOPA allegedly include many of Hollywood's elite, who argue that the passing of the bill would help generate business and prevent online piracy.

Others insist that it infringes upon the constitutional rights of American's who are entitled to freedom of speech.

 

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