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Issa Backs Web Blackout - Broadcasting & Cable

Issa Backs Web Blackout

Calls it a "responsible and transparent exercise of freedom of speech"
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Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). chair or the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and an outspoken opponent of current versions of antipiracy legislation, gave a shout-out Wednesday to the Web blackout protest by sites including Wikipedia. Reddit, Mozilla and others.

He reiterated that he thought the Senate's Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) were threats to the 'net.

"This unprecedented effort has turned the tide against a backroom lobbying effort by interests that aren't used to being told 'no,'" Issa said in a statement. "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."

Issa had planned a hearing in his committee Wednesady on cybersecurity concerns related to SOPA, but cancelled it after he had assurances from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) that SOPA would not move until it got a more thorough vetting, and after domain blocking language was removed, as it had been in the Senate version.

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