- Congressman says bill "creates the precedent and possibility for undue regulation"
- Makes sense that Paul Ryan would oppose a bill giving more authority to federal government
- Ryan says Internet is an expression of freedom and should stay that way
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) will not support the Stop Online Piracy Act, according to a statement released by his office Monday.
In the statement, Ryan calls the Internet "one of the most magnificent expressions of freedom and free enterprise in history" and says "it should stay that way."
According to Ryan, SOPA is an attempted solution to the "legitimate problem" of digital piracy, but the bill "creates the precedent and possibility for undue regulation, censorship and legal abuse."
Congressman Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, became a target of the Reddit community last month. Reddit users considered Ryan's previous stance on SOPA too vague -- and took issue with the $288,600 that the Congressman had accepted from pro-SOPA groups.
Redditors began "Operation Pull Ryan," a grassroots campaign to prevent Ryan's re-election in 2012. The community embraced Ryan's opponent, Rob Zerban, who is running for Congress in November of this year. Zerban returned Reddit's affection, hosting an "AMA," or "Ask Me Anything," where he fielded questions directly from Reddit users.
Zerban credited Reddit with influencing Ryan's decision on SOPA. In a statement posted on the social media site, Zerban said: "Reddit was able to force the House Budget Chair to reverse course -- shock waves will be felt throughout the establishment in Washington today, and other lawmakers will take notice."
In fact, Reddit may not have had an impact on Ryan's SOPA decision. Paul's position on the bill was unclear until now. As a conservative Republican who favors smaller government, it makes sense that Ryan would oppose a bill which gives more authority to the Federal government.
On the other hand, the bill was introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith, a conservative Republican from Texas, so party labels are not a reliable indicator of SOPA support. Congressman Ryan's office did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.
Is the tide turning against SOPA in Congress? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.