The White House Watch

Yesterday, this author noted the pending Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which critics have dubbed the “internet kill switch.” One of the toughest fighters in Congress, Darrell Issa, has taken up arms against it, saying it would give Eric Holder the right to shut down websites at his whim. The Daily Caller reports:

In a statement released Tuesday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa criticized an amendment proposed by Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith to the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, saying it does not fix anything and would give “Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice broad new powers to police the Internet.”

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SOPA, which is Smith’s bill, would place authority over websites that facilitate copyright infringement under Justice Department jurisdiction. Under SOPA, the Justice Department would have to lay out its case before a federal court that the foreign site is illegal and infringes upon copyright law before obtaining a court order to block the site or sever its financial ties.

The bill — heavily criticized by politicians, social networking sites and political advocacy groups for its “broad reach” — is expected to see full committee markup before Smith’s House Judiciary Committee Thursday. The bill currently has the support of 29 bipartisan cosponsors, in addition to many groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, MPAA, RIAA, Comcast and Go Daddy.

“The manager’s amendment retains the fundamental flaws of its predecessor by blocking Americans’ ability to access websites, imposing costly regulation on web companies and giving Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice broad new powers to police the internet,” said Issa.

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Darrell Issa: Another day, another patriotic save.

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