WASHINGTON -- With thousands of websites large and small blacked out Wednesday in protest of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act, a House bill, and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act, another co-sponsor of the legislation has withdrawn his support -- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Home to the Disney World and Universal Studios theme parks, Rubio's Florida may be the most Hollywood-centric state outside California, and Rubio had been one of the first senators to sign on in support of Protect IP when Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced it this past spring. In a frank statement posted to his Facebook page on Wednesday, Rubio hinted at a Beltway truth that many other wavering Protect IP and SOPA supporters have been hesitant to admit: More than one lawmaker signed on to the legislation without understanding its technical workings and potential problems, believing it to be an uncontroversial, bipartisan bill that would support American industries.
"Earlier this year, this bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously and without controversy," Rubio wrote. "Since then, we've heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government's power to impact the Internet. Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences."
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