Skip to Content

“Stop Online Piracy Act” Radically Expands Scope of Senate’s PROTECT IP Act

WASHINGTON — CDT today released the following statement in response to the introduction in the House of legislation intended to fight “rogue websites” (H.R. 3261).

The following can be attributed to CDT Senior Policy Counsel David Sohn:

This bill raises serious red flags. It includes the most controversial parts of the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act, but radically expands the scope. Any website that features user-generated content or that enables cloud-based data storage could end up in its crosshairs. ISPs would face new and open-ended obligations to monitor and police user behavior. Payment processors and ad networks would be required to cut off business with any website that rightsholders allege hasn’t done enough to police infringement. The bill represents a serious threat to online innovation and to legitimate online communications tools.

In addition, the bill includes the blunt instrument of domain name filtering. That approach won’t work and threatens significant collateral damage in a number of areas, including cybersecurity. The international example it sets would encourage balkanization of the global Internet.

CDT urges Congress to change course. A more focused “follow-the-money” approach, narrowly targeting clear bad actors and drying up their financial lifeblood, could reduce online infringement without risking so much damage to Internet openness, innovation, and security.