EU Internet czar piles on, says SOPA is bad news

Neelie Kroes tweeted that she's happy to see SOPA losing support, saying that governments should be "safeguarding benefits of open net."

Neelie Kroes is no fan of SOPA.
Neelie Kroes is no fan of SOPA. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

It's becoming increasingly clear that supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a political mistake--even if you live in Europe.

European Commission vice president and European Union Internet czar Neelie Kroes tweeted today that she's happy to see the "tide is turning on SOPA," adding that we "don't need bad legislation when (we) should be safeguarding benefits of (the) open Internet."

That "tide" came on quite strong recently, with major Web sites, including Google and Wikipedia, staging protests and attracting Web users to stand behind them. Things have become so difficult on the SOPA and Protect IP Act (PIPA) fronts that earlier today, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) announced that they would put both bills on hold due to the critical outcry.

"It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products," Smith wrote today in a statement.

But legislators aren't the only politicos running from the bills. Last night, Republican presidential nominees held a debate in South Carolina , and said that they don't support the bills. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was especially outspoken last night, saying that the bills are "far too intrusive, far too expensive, far too threatening (to) the freedom of speech and movement of information across the Internet."

Although Neelie Kroes agrees, she tried a less-direct tack to get her point across, tweeting today that "speeding is illegal too, but you don't put speed bumps on the motorway."

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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