There has been a great deal of controversy recently over two bills designed to protect intellectual property on the Internet, the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate, and the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) in the House. Though it is critical that we protect intellectual property, I oppose both these bills because I believe they go too far and threaten our constitutionally protected rights to speech and expression.

I believe intellectual property must be protected if we are to spur innovation and foster economic growth.  A recent study found that copyright piracy and counterfeit goods cost American businesses billions of dollars per year and result in thousands of jobs lost each year.  I understand the need to address this issue. 

However, there needs to be a better way to do it, without the strong concerns I and many others have about freedom of speech and expression, as well as regarding the impact the law could have on the security and functionality of the Internet’s Domain Name System.

A free Internet plays an important role in driving innovation and economic growth.  I believe that anytime the government expands its influence in new areas, we should seriously consider whether that expansion is absolutely necessary.

Given my strong concerns with this bill, I am pleased that a vote by the full Senate has been postponed until these major concerns are addressed.