Sen Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Rep. Darell Issa (R-Cal.) were preaching to the choir today when they vowed at the 2012 International CES that they’ll try to blunt the Hollywood supported effort to give the government the power to block websites that traffic in pirated content. “Our hope is we can slow down this effort to pass two ill-advised pieces of legislation” Wyden said referring to the House’s Stop Online Piracy Act and a similar bill in the Senate called the Protect IP Act. Consumer electronics and tech companies have opposed the bills, saying that they could be used to block legitimate Web sites and stifle free speech. Issa added that “we’re up against people who have a history of resisting technological innovation.” He says that at a January 18 hearing he’ll bang the drum for his Online Enforcement and Protection of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) which gives the International Trade Commission more authority to regulate piracy allegations. “You’re going to hear venture capitalists talk about the real impact (on Internet investment) if Congress gets something wrong,” Issa said. Speaking of Hollywood he said that “if there were no SOPA they’d embrace this (OPEN) as a great idea.” He added that SOPA is “too flawed to be fixed.”
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