Google chairman says online piracy bill would 'criminalize' the Internet13/12/2011 20:24
An online piracy bill in the House would "criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself," according to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.
Schmidt said the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would punish Web firms, including search engines, that link to foreign websites dedicated to online piracy. He said implementing the bill as written would effectively break the Internet.
"By criminalizing links, what these bills do is they force you to take content off the Internet," Schmidt said, calling it a form of censorship.
The search giant has been at the forefront of a tech industry backlash against the legislation from House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas).
"If Congress writes a bad law, we all suffer," Schmidt said.
He compared the proposal to the Web censorship practiced by repressive foreign governments like China and doubled down on that comparison when speaking with reporters after his remarks at the Economic Club of Washington.