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There have been several developments over the past weekend, including a statement from the Whitehouse that expressed reservations about any provisions that facilitate online censorship and threaten the very framework that allows the Internet to function as it does today. With the removal of the DNS provision of SOPA and the cancellation of SOPA’s hearing in the House Oversight Committee by Rep. Darrell Issa, the focus has shifted to the equally destructive Senate companion bill, the Protect IP Act.
Attention should be focused on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who needs to withdraw a motion for cloture, or the ability for this bill to be taken up for debate. Should a cloture occur, Senators Wyden, Moran, Cantwell, and Paul have agreed to filibuster PIPA, or speak for long periods of time in order to block it. Other Senators are doing their part by promising to speak against PIPA should it be taken up on the Senate floor. These members include Senators Hatch, Sessions, Cornyn, Lee and Coburn (two co-sponsors of the bill) who have strongly urged reconsideration of this bill.
Despite having these Internet allies on our side, they still need your help. Now is a more important time than ever to call your Senator or visit their offices in your district to voice your opposition to PIPA. The deadline for our action to have an impact is January 24th, when the Senate will be allowed to call for a vote. Continuing to voice your opposition until then is essential.
If you have already contacted your Member, spread the word about the January 18th Internet blackout protesting the consideration of SOPA/PIPA. Participants in the Internet blackout include sites like Wikipedia and Reddit who will be giving a taste of the dangerous effect this bill would have by giving the government more ability to censor the Interent. These sites are joining the chorus of human rights groups, cyber security experts, public interest groups, and businesses that depend on an open Internet.
Sign up for PK’s Mobile Action Alerts System now so that you can call your Senators right when they walk into their offices Monday morning. We can’t let Congress think that PIPA is a compromise.