Dear Mr. and Mrs. Stanosheck:
Thank you for contacting me about the PROTECT IP Act of 2011 (S. 968). I share your concerns regarding this legislation, and I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this important issue.
The PROTECT IP Act of 2011 was introduced in the Senate on May 26, 2011, in an effort to counter the increasing number of websites, often foreign, dedicated to selling counterfeit pharmaceuticals, pirated copies of movies, music and other stolen property. While I appreciate the intent of this legislation, and believe that Congress should exercise its constitutional authority to protect Americans' property rights online, I have concerns that certain provisions of the PROTECT IP Act could lead to unintended consequences, including breaches in cybersecurity, damage to the integrity of the Internet, burdensome litigation, and dilution of First Amendment rights.
In response, on January 13, 2012, I along with several of my colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote to Majority Leader Harry Reid expressing our concern that the PROTECT IP Act was moving too quickly. We argued that it was necessary to hear from experts and build consensus before moving forward with this legislation. On January 20, 2012, Majority Leader Reid complied with our request and announced the indefinite postponement of scheduled votes on the PROTECT IP Act.
I appreciate having the opportunity to represent Texans in the United States Senate and you may be certain that I will oppose any legislation that will censor the Internet or otherwise infringe upon an individual’s First Amendment rights. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
United States Senator
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856