Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On the same day that thousands of websites including Wikipedia and WordPress have gone dark to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act; Florida Senator Marco Rubio announced he was withdrawing his name and support for the bill.
“Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences,” Senator Rubio wrote on his Facebook page. “Therefore, I have decided to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act.”
Rubio’s statement also said he hopes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will abandon plans to send the act to the Senate floor while giving legislators more time to address the concerns and ramifications of a potentially crippling bill to the Internet.
SOPA would allow the U.S. attorney general to seek a court order to shut down access to offshore Web sites. Once the court order is granted, the attorney general could force U.S. Internet service providers to block the sites.
In addition, according to CNET the bill could end up requiring ISP’s to monitor what web sites individuals visit and block sites that may be infringing on copyright.
The bill would essentially create a blacklist of potentially millions of websites that may or may not be engaged in copyright infringement regarding movies, television, and music.
So, a site like YouTube or Wikipedia could be blacklisted due to alleged copyright infringement.
Texas Republican Lamar Smith, who sponsored the SOPA bill, has been financially benefiting from leading the charge. The top donors to his 2012 campaign committee are from the TV, movie, and music industries, according to CNET.
Wednesday, website giants like Wikipedia and Reddit shutdown to protest the bills. Internet behemoth Google also took part in the protest by censoring the Google doodle on the search giants home page.
Both bills are likely to be brought up to a vote in the two Congressional chambers, but a White House veto could be looming if they are passed.