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Acknowledging Blackout, Politicians Ditch SOPA

| 18 Jan 2012 18:10
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Wait, does this mean that internet activism actually works?

Assuming you have eyeballs, you've likely noticed that a number of popular internet destinations have gone dark today in protest of SOPA. Keen to ingratiate themselves with the legions who are now left stranded without the collective wisdom of Wikipedia, a number of politicians have publicly dropped support for the proposed bill, and are theoretically urging others to do the same.

TechCrunch reports:

The online uproar against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in Congress is already causing some in Washington to abandon the SOPA ship. The tide began to turn this weekend when a hearing scheduled for today was canceled and the White House pushed back on some of the more controversial portions of the House bill and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

Already, a couple of co-sponsors of the bill are pulling their support. Representative Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) is no longer a co-sponsor, and Representative Lee Terry (R-Neb.) is also planning to remove his name from the co-sponsor list ...

Continuing, the report points to a recent Facebook update authored by Michigan Republican representative Justin Amash, in which Amash diplomatically throws his support behind today's blackout:

On Wednesday, January 18, I will join others across the Internet in a 24-hour "blackout" to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate. These bills give the federal government unprecedented power to censor Internet content and will stifle the free flow of information and ideas. In protest, I have changed my profile picture and will temporarily disable your ability to post independent content on my Wall (although you still may comment under this post). Demand that Congress and the President keep the Internet open and free. Please borrow my profile pic, share this message, and contact your Representatives and Senators in Congress to urge them to protect your right to free speech by opposing SOPA and PIPA.

Likewise, Kotaku points out that Missouri rep Roy Blunt has pulled his support of PIPA and Gizmodo has word that PIPA co-sponsor Mark Rubio has abandoned the bill.

Meanwhile, Senator Ron Wyden, from my beautiful bohemian home state of Oregon, said that PIPA "establishes a censorship regime." Nicely done Mr. Wyden. Gold star for you.

Yay, right? Progress! SOPA is increasingly unpopular and the wired masses are vindicated in their lazy quest for free information (and, let's be honest, pornography). Now that that's settled, who's up for a petition to get Firefly back on the air?

Source: TechCrunch

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