According to PC Business World house_hearing_on_stop_online_piracy_act_scheduled.html, California lawmakers, Representatives Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat, and Darrell Issa, a Republican, urged their colleagues to oppose SOPA in a letter this week. The two wrote that they support the goal of fighting online copyright infringement, and they would support “narrowly targeted legislation that does not ensnare legitimate websites.”
The below is an excellent article by Electronic Frontier Foundation which explains the serious dangers of having legislation so broad that it could target and sweep in whistleblower advocacy websites if they report wrongdoing on government and industry. The article further describes that anonymous reporting of public interest disclosures which include human rights violations could disappear similar to what happened to Wikileaks. Wikileaks has been forced out of business by pressure from the government on financial payment processing companies to no longer accept donations.
While it is important to find effective ways to stop deceptive business practices and infringements on trademarks, copyrights and domain names, if this Bill is allowed to pass as is, it could end a free internet and place severe restrictions on free speech. Allowing corporations to seek a court order on an alleged trademark or copyright infringement is an abuse that thwarts efforts of advocacy groups to warn, inform and protect the public. Arbitrary use of law enforcement to seek court orders could conceivably demolish Occupy Wall Street efforts, hinder alternative online media sources and gut the purpose of public interest groups to operate a 501(c)3, merely by exerting pressure on website hosting companies and payment processing that accept credit cards & PayPal donations.