SOPA: The Battle in Congress over Internet Censorship

by Nathaniel Botwinick

It appears that the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) may not have the votes to pass in Congress. There seems to be growing, bipartisan opposition to the bill. Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) said that, “I don’t believe this bill has any chance on the House floor. I think it’s way too extreme, it infringes on too many areas that our leadership will know is simply too dangerous to do in its current form.” Rep. Nancy Pelosi tweeted that, “Need to find a better solution than #SOPA #DontBreakTheInternet.”

Unfortunately, the sponsors of the bill, Rep. Lamar Smith (R. ,Texas) and Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.) are not backing down from their positions. They have redoubled their efforts in recent days, even claiming that SOPA will help protect American soldiers:

Trafficking in counterfeit military goods — H.R. 3261 creates a strong deterrent to those who knowingly risk the lives of members of our armed forces and law enforcement by significantly increasing criminal penalties on those who knowingly traffic in counterfeit military goods or goods sold to law enforcement.

I would imagine that there are other laws on the books that would serve as a better deterrent to the trafficking in counterfeit military goods than this bill. Here is a list of the other reasons why Congressmen Smith and Conyers think their bill should pass. Also, in case you were wondering, here is the actual bill itself. Let’s hope it is stopped.