Debate On Internet Censorship Bill To Resume Dec. 21

UPDATED: The House Judiciary Committee will resume markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 9 a.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee has postponed further debate on a controversial bill that would give the government the power to block access to entire websites accused of hosting content that infringes on copyrights. The committee is expected to resume the markup proceedings after Congress’ holiday recess.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is supported by the Hollywood media industry, but has been opposed by many internet companies and free speech advocates.

Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffretz called for both a classified and public hearing on cybersecurity issues related to the bill. Representatives did not hear from security experts or internet engineers at the only previous hearing on SOPA.

“We have deep concerns about what this will do to cybersecurity,” Chaffetz said. “I think it would be dangerous for members on this committee to vote on final passage of this bill without having at least one hearing and some clarification.”

Other members of the Judiciary Committee who have shown opposition to the bill are Republicans Darrell Issa of California and Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin and Democrats Zoe Lofgren of California and Jared Polis of Colorado. Texas Republican Lamar Smith, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is the sponsor of the proposed legislation.

Before the markup proceedings were suspended today, the committee voted down a series of amendments that were intended to address some of the objections to the bill.

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