Tech Elites: U.S. Online Piracy Bill Mirrors Chinese, Iranian Policies [View all]
An assembly of U.S. Internet elites, captains of the most successful online businesses, published an open letter to Congress on Wednesday urging lawmakers to think long and hard before adopting bills that would force wide-reaching changes to the structure of the Web.
The letter, which will run as an advertisement in the pages of America’s most influential newspapers, comes just one day before a key House committee vote on a revised version of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Most critics say the bill would create an Internet “blacklist” that forces ISPs, search engines, financial firms and advertisers to de-list websites accused of copyright infringement, all without any actual court hearing or oversight — which is bad enough, but the letter’s authors took their criticism to another level entirely.
In their attack on SOPA and the Senate version of the bill, known as the PROTECT IP Act, the tech leaders claimed the proposals would put U.S. tech policy on par with “China, Malaysia and Iran.”
“We urge Congress to think hard before changing the regulation that underpins the Internet,” they wrote. “Let’s not deny the next generation of entrepreneurs and founders the same opportunities that we all had.”