Sen. Cochran re-thinking support of anti-piracy proposal

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Oxford, may be rethinking his support of a bill intended to combat Internet piracy, a spokesman indicated on Wednesday, as opponents nationwide held a coordinated, online day of protest against the legislation, arguing that it would censor the Web and stifle business.

The internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, social news site Reddit and other online destinations staged a “blackout” Wednesday, directing all visitors to their sites to pages opposing the piracy legislation. The search engine Google blacked-out its signature logo.

“Senator Cochran cosponsored this bill based on concerns with the ongoing threat posed by foreign criminal elements operating on the Internet and causing harm to American businesses,” spokesman Chris Gallegos said in an email. “That said, the senator hopes that the legislation will be changed to address legitimate concerns about how the bill would affect law-abiding U.S. businesses.”

Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Biloxi, and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Tupelo, both issued statements calling for a balanced approach to anti-piracy rules, but neither would say directly whether they supported or opposed the proposed legislation.

Mississippi Press
1/19/12