US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa has supported the actions of websites, which went ‘dark’ Wednesday January 18th, describing the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) anti-piracy measures as threats to the openness, freedom, and innovation of the Internet.
“The Protect IP Act and SOPA are threats to the openness, freedom, and innovation of the Internet. I applaud the Internet community, including the thousands of blogs and websites that have decided to go dark today, for participating in our democracy and opening up the debate on legislation to the public,” he declared.
“This unprecedented effort has turned the tide against a backroom lobbying effort by interests that aren’t use to being told ‘no’. I know suspending and changing access to sites was not necessarily an easy decision, but this a responsible and transparent exercise of freedom of speech. I applaud those participating in today’s protest for their sturdy defense of American innovation, openness and Internet freedom,” he said.
The Oversight Committee had originally scheduled a hearing on DNS blocking for January 18. The hearing was postponed after assurances from Leader Cantor and the removal of DNS blocking provisions from SOPA were made. Even with this alteration, Chairman Issa continues to oppose SOPA as well as PIPA.
Issa and Senator Ron Wyden published the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act in early December to address the perceived problems of SOPA and PIPA.