As you may know, the Internet is "on strike" today. Well, not the entire Internet -- just Wikipedia. Several other big-name, high-traffic websites -- including Google and Craigslist -- have "blacked out" their websites today in protest of a bill currently making its way through Congress that they say would lead to censorship of online content, and could force many of the companies to shut down.
One sponsor of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is Congressman Ben Quayle...er, was Congressman Ben Quayle.
Quayle is one of several sponsors who bailed on his support of the bill yesterday -- as protests of the legislation spread across the series of tubes that are deceased Senator Ted Stevens' Interwebs.
Quayle spokesman Zach Howell tells New Times the congressman still supports the goal of the bill -- to crack down on foreign websites trafficking things like pirated movies, music, etc. -- but, as it's currently written, could create unintended problems.
"Congressman Quayle strongly believes that something must be done to combat rogue websites that steal American intellectual property," Howell says in an email. "This is a serious matter that costs businesses billions of dollars and destroys American jobs. However, Representative Quayle believes that as the bill currently stands, it could have unintended consequences that need to be addressed before moving forward and these concerns led him to withdraw his name as a co-sponsor."
Additionally, Nebraska Congressman Lee Terry, who also sponsored the bill, yanked his support yesterday, too.
A similar bill that's currently in the Senate lost the support of Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who noted on his Facebook page that he's "heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government's power to impact the Internet."
For more info on the bill, just Wikipedia it (it's probably not a coincidence, but Wikipedia's SOPA page has not been blacked out. Check it out here).
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