The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Momentum Growing: More Than 3,000 Demand Progress Members Call House and Senate, Urge Rejection of Internet Censorship Bill

PROTECT IP Act would force Internet service providers to block Americans' access to websites


Momentum against Senator Patrick Leahy's PROTECT IP Act is snowballing, with more than 3,000 Demand Progress members calling their members of the House and Senate to urge them to oppose the Internet censorship legislation. The calls were made in front of today's Senate Judiciary Committee markup of the legislation.

The legislation would force internet service providers, search engines, and other "information location tools" to blacklist websites accused of copyright infringement and block Americans' access to them.

More than 60,000 Americans have signed Demand Progress's petition against PROTECT IP, and more than 350,000 Americans have signed Demand Progress's anti-COICA petition. Earlier this week the Motion Picture Association of America and Variety attacked Demand Progress by name for organizing Americans to oppose the bill. The PROTECT IP petition is posted here:

Last week Google CEO Eric Schmidt came out against the legislation, saying "[If] it's passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president of the United States, and we disagree with it, then we would still fight it...If it's a request, the answer is we wouldn't do it."

Yesterday Demand Progress and more than a dozen human rights and civil liberties groups sent a letter in opposition to PROTECT IP to Leahy, cautioning that the bill "risks setting a precedent for other countries, even democratic ones, to use DNS mechanisms to enforce a range of domestic policies, erecting barriers on the global medium of the Internet." The full letter is posted here:

David Segal, Campaign Director for Demand Progress, remarks on the momentum against PROTECT IP: "It's a great rarity for thousands of Americans to call Congress about an Internet or civil liberties bill: Our success is drawing our opponent's wrath, and drawing ever more attention to these critical issues. We hope Congress heeds our concerns and declines to institute this un-American Internet censorship regime."

Demand Progress amplifies the voice of the people -- and wields it to make government accountable and contest concentrated corporate power. Our mission is to protect the democratic character of the internet -- and wield it to contest concentrated corporate power and hold government accountable.