Rep. Lamar Smith, the chief sponsor of the ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ (SOPA), has dismissed the opposition to SOPA as illegitimate and of minor importance.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the chief sponsor of the ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ (SOPA), says that criticisms of the controversial legislation are entirely unfounded, and that the online communities that oppose the bill are illegitimate.
“The criticism of this bill is completely hypothetical; none of it is based in reality. Not one of the critics was able to point to any language in the bill that would in any way harm the Internet. Their accusations are simply not supported by any facts,” said Smith in a statement, quoted by Roll Call.
When asked about the burgeoning opposition to the bill from online communities like Reddit.com and even Occupy Wall Street, Smith added: “It’s a vocal minority. Because they’re strident doesn’t mean they’re either legitimate or large in number. One, they need to read the language. Show me the language. There’s nothing they can point to that does what they say it does do. I think their fears are unfounded.”
There are so many things just factually wrong about Rep. Smith’s statement that it’s hard to know where to begin. So let’s just take his asinine dismissal from the top, shall we?
First, Rep. Smith says that “not one of the critics” could point to specific language in the bill that would “in any way harm the Internet.” No? What about the 83 Internet pioneers — we’re talking people like Vint Cerf, co-designer of TCP/IP; Jim Gettys, editor of the HTTP/1.1 protocol standards; Leonard Kleinrock, a key developer of the ARPANET; in other words, the very people who built the Internet — who say that SOPA (and the Protect IP Act, PIPA), “will risk fragmenting the Internet’s global domain name system (DNS) and have other capricious technical consequences” because of the bills’ requirement that Internet service providers block domain names of infringing sites.