WASHINGTON, DC – House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) today issued the following statement on the blackouts of many popular websites – including Wikipedia, Craigslist, Google and thousands of others– in response to the serious threats to an open Internet and digital innovation in America posed by the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA):
“The Protect IP Act and SOPA are threats to the openness, freedom, and innovation of the Internet. I applaud the Internet community, including the thousands of blogs and websites that have decided to go dark today, for participating in our democracy and opening up the debate on legislation to the public.
“This unprecedented effort has turned the tide against a backroom lobbying effort by interests that aren’t used to being told ‘no.’ I know suspending and changing access to sites was not necessarily an easy decision, but this is a responsible and transparent exercise of freedom of speech. I applaud those participating in today’s protest for their sturdy defense of American innovation, openness and Internet freedom.”
The Oversight Committee had originally scheduled a hearing on DNS blocking for today. The hearing was postponed after assurances from Leader Cantor and the removal of DNS blocking provisions from SOPA were made. Even with this alteration, Chairman Issa continues to oppose SOPA as well as PIPA.