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White House Releases Statement on SOPA, Promises to Protect ‘Dynamic Web’

The White House responded to online petitions today about the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The White House said that it believes that online piracy requires a “serious legislative response” but it will not support any bill that “undermines the dynamic” internet.

Victoria Espinel, Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator at Office of Management and Budget, Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and Howard Schmidt, Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator for National Security Staff, wrote the statement in response to two online petitions.

The “Stop the E-PARASITE Act” and “Veto the SOPA bill and any other future bills that threaten to diminish the free flow of information,” pointed out the dangers of SOPA and PIPA and pleaded for the president to take a stand against the legislation.

The White House writes:

“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.”

The White House did say, however, that expects to pass a bill on online piracy in 2012. The White House said:

Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small…. We expect and encourage all private parties, including both content creators and Internet platform providers working together, to adopt voluntary measures and best practices to reduce online piracy.”

The White House’s statement comes just a few days after Reddit announced a site blackout on January 18th to protest SOPA and PIPA. Firefall, the developers of Minecraft are also planning to blackout their sites.

Do you agree with the White House’s statement on SOPA? Will it be possible to stop online privacy while maintaining the freedom of the internet?

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