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Matheson opposed to Internet censorship

Washington, D.C.—Congressman Jim Matheson opposes two bills aimed at stopping the theft of intellectual property—The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA)—saying that while they attempt to address the important issue of online piracy, they are ill-conceived and could harm the open, dynamic innovation made possible by the Internet.

“Intellectual property is an important form of property that should be protected from Internet piracy, but these bills are not the way to go,” said Matheson. “It’s wrong to pass bills that could censor information on the Internet—stifling innovation and interfering with the livelihood of businesses on the Internet. This is a complicated issue, and Congress should obtain much more stakeholder involvement as it addresses the issue.”

Matheson said he supports the goal of stopping online piracy.  But he said these bills—instead of attacking the pirates directly (mostly because they are offshore and outside U.S. jurisdiction) — look at Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and use them as the enforcement mechanism. Matheson said disrupting the system in this way might even lead to a less secure Internet for everyone.