Following a few weeks of brewing controversy regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), the Obama administration has finally spoken about the subject. According to a statement released today, three administration officials highlighted the need to fight online piracy in ways that would not curtail freedom of expression, negatively impact cybersecurity, or stifle innovation.
However, the administration said little about the pieces of legislation in question, which chooses instead to outline its desire that new legislation be narrowly outlined and not open to abuse.
One of the issues in the said statement issue was DNS filtering, a practice by which SOPA would let the government block Americans’ access to specific foreign sites suspected of engaging in piracy. However, that issue had become considerably less controversial in the preceding days. Yesterday, the bill’s original sponsor, Rep. Chairman Lamar Smith, (R, TX) said he planned in removing the DNS filtering provision from the law. On Thursday, PIPA sponsor Sen. Patrick Leahy (D, VT) said he would strip the DNS filtering language from his own legislation.
The statement also called on content companies and Internet platform providers in working together on new ways to fight online piracy without demoralizing freedoms. In a similar fashion, the Obama administration expressed their willingness to working with Congress in a bi-partisan effort in providing content creators with new legislative tools to achieve the same.