For several days, word has been circulating that SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) has been “shelved” in the House pending consensus on its more controversial provisions. However, PIPA (Protect IP Act) is alive and well in the Senate and Harry Reid still plans to call for a vote on it on January 24.
It appears that public pressure is causing more and more Republican senators to withdraw their support of PIPA and ask Reid to postpone the vote. Among them is Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), one of the most conservative of all senators, who joined in signing a letter to Reid:
We have increasingly heard from a large number of constituents and other stakeholders with vocal concerns about possible unintended consequences of the proposed legislation, including breaches in cybersecurity, damaging the integrity of the Internet, costly and burdensome litigation, and dilution of First Amendment rights.
The pressure is being felt in Washington. Now is not the time to back off. Opponents of SOPA and PIPA need to keep it up. The blackout Wednesday should be a great, highly visible show of opposition. (You are participating, aren’t you?) If you aren’t already excited, check out the Forbes article about Wikipedia and other biggies joining or possibly joining in the blackout.
Come on, people. We are the Internet. We can do this. Merely “shelving” SOPA is not good enough. Along with PIPA, this onerous legislation needs to be dead and buried under a tombstone saying “Here lies American censorship.”
If we don’t kill SOPA and PIPA, that tombstone will read “Here lies the Internet.”