The Day the Internet Fought Back
That's really all there is to say to sum up the feeling around yesterday's unprecedented Internet protest over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).
Yesterday's mass action by millions of concerned Americans produced a tidal wave of opposition that rolled over DC, sent cosponsors and bill supporters reeling, and began to turn the tide on a bill that just a few weeks before had appeared fast-tracked for passage.
Perhaps most importantly, it dispelled the myth that representatives and senators won't respond to public pressure — they will.
We don't know about you, but we sure had fun yesterday, as we watched politician after politician respond to their constituents by publicly taking a stance in opposition to SOPA and PIPA.
Granted, these politicians didn't turn tail and run from this bill because they suddenly saw the light and realized breaking the internet was a bad thing. They did it because the American people spoke up in a massive way that for the first time made supporting the bill look like a toxic election year issue.
This morning, Google announced they collected over 7 million signatures in opposition to SOPA and PIPA. Similar sites reportedly collected hundreds of thousands throughout the day.
By a preliminary count, at least 6 Senators withdrew their cosponsorship of PIPA and 6 Representatives withdrew their cosponsorship of SOPA as a direct result of the protest.
However, Campaign for Liberty members know there is never a more dangerous time than when opponents of bad legislation believed they have won. If you let up for one second, that's when the bills come back with a vengeance and are rammed down our throats. Don't let with happen with SOPA and PIPA, please continue to make your voices heard over the coming weeks!
While some politicians were very publicly backing away from SOPA and PIPA yesterday, others, particularly the bill authors were doubling down on their resolve to push forward on these bills.
Rep. Lamar Smith, the author of SOPA, told the media he plans to continue his markup in the House Judiciary Committee in mid-February.
In the Senate, the vote is imminent when they return next week. At the moment, Harry Reid has promised to still hold the vote on Tuesday, January 24.
Harry Reid needs 60 votes to pass PIPA, and though we put a dent in their support yesterday, there are still enough uncommitted Senators to sway the outcome in their favor.
That is why it's of the utmost importance you double-down on the pressure if your senators are still supporting PIPA or if they have not taken a public position on the issue. Please follow-up with your senators today and urge them to oppose PIPA on every vote, including cloture on the 24th.
The Internet community made great strides yesterday in ginning up public opposition to SOPA and PIPA, now it's our job to make sure neither of these bills pass either chamber!