By the end of this week, the Senate may vote on a bill that would end the Internet as we know it.
If it passes, the “Protect IP Act” would give corporate copyright holders the authority to demand that the government shut down any website without a court order. All they would need is to allege that the website contains copyrighted material.
This bill has been rushed through Congress because big corporate interests like Comcast, Pfizer, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have spent millions of dollars lobbying for this censoring legislation.1
This bill is an outright attack on our free Internet. If it passes, the government could shut down a website like YouTube if a member does something like post a video of themselves singing a copyrighted song.
This gives corporations and the government the ability to determine what information you can consume on the Internet — a dangerous practice which, when committed by the Chinese and Iranian governments, is denounced by the American people and almost all of our elected representatives.
Internet companies including Google, Mozilla, Facebook, and Twitter, say that “the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action, and technology mandates that would require monitoring of web sites.”2
Right now, only a small number of Democratic senators are standing up to corporate interests and voicing opposition to the bill. And the only way we can stop this outright attack on the free Internet is to have more senators commit to vote against the legislation. No matter whether your senators are Republicans or Democrats, it is important that you urge them to take a stand for Internet freedom.
We need Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to come out in opposition to this bill and vote against Internet censorship.
Thank you for speaking out to protect our free and open internet.
Ali Rozell, Campaign Manager