*Free Speech and Free Commerce Online Are In Peril * We don t do this often,Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2011View Source
Free Speech and Free Commerce Online Are In Peril
We don't do this often, but we're calling on all Republican Liberty Caucus members and anyone who values their liberty to take action and call their representatives in the House and Senate to express the strongest possible opposition to two bills which would allow large media businesses to shut down virtually any website with nothing more than an unfounded accusation and no due process of law whatsoever.
The Senate bill is the “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act” (S 968).
In the House it’s the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (HR 3261).
In an effort to go after media piracy these bills are so broadly written that they would allow anyone owning a copyright to accuse any website of infringing that copyright and shut the website down preemptively, actually scrubbing its IP address from the internet, all with no due process or hearing of any evidence or ruling from a court, treating the owner of the site as guilty until he could prove his innocence, likely at a considerable cost in legal fees.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has made its concern over the potential for abuse in these acts very clear, and has raised a further concern. They believe that fear of unmerited shutdowns under the act will lead to excessive self-policing by frightened service providers, stifling free speech and many forms of commerce on the internet. They describe SOPA as "the worst piece of legislation we've seen in the last decade."
The freedom to innovate and to engage in entrepreneurial creativity which the intenet has empowered is genuinely under threat from the proliferation of this kind of legislation. As the United States has lost the lead in traditional manufacturing, we have seen most of our growth in the online business sector. This is where the jobs of the new millenium are and it is where most of the hope for economic recovery lies. PROTCT IP and SOPA will have a chilling effect on this increasingly important sectory of the economy and lead to wholesale violations of the privacy rights of individuals and businesses. It’s another bad idea from a government which has become too big and too eager to interfere in every aspect of our lives.
Pro-Liberty members of Congress led by Representative Ron Paul will be leading opposition to these bills and they need your support. For more information on this issue and to email and call your representatives, please go to the Republican Liberty Caucus site.