Tech Heavyweights Decry Government Meddling With Internet
December 15, 2011 by Sam Rolley
Several high-profile names in the tech industry are on the offensive against two online piracy bills in Congress that would give the government vast new power to censor content on the Web.
The technological innovators — including Google’s Sergey Brin, eBay co-founder Pierre Omidyar and Arianna Huffington — blast the bills in full-page ads expected to run in the coming days in The New York Times and The Washington Post and other publications, according to POLITICO.
The ads, which include a copy of an open letter to Congress that was sent late Tuesday, charges that the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act in the House would “deny website owners the right to due process” and hand “the U.S. government the power to censor the Web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran.” The members of the tech community also say that the government risks undermining online security by changing the basic structure of the Internet.
The letter was signed by Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, Flickr and Hunch co-founder Caterina Fake, PayPal co-founder Elon Musk and Twitter’s co-founders Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams among others.
One lawmaker aid said that the executives’ arguments are inaccurate simply because PROTECT IP Act in the Senate would not be sponsored by 41 Senators if their claims were true.