Illinois Senator Kirk announces opposition to PIPA, Protect IP Act

With January 18, 2012 being the designated day for a mass internet blackout, it was an appropriate day for Illinois Senator Kirk to state his opposition to PIPA or the Protect IP Act making it’s way through the senate! The web was buzzing as sites like Wikipedia, Reddit, Google and more than 7,000 others ‘blacked out’ their site in protest of the absurd and unconstitutional PIPA and SOPA bills.
I was fortunate enough to meet with a representative of Senator Kirk’s office in downtown Chicago with a small group of dedicated people also working to smother this bill. I had worked towards setting up a meeting with Senator Kirk and Senator Durbin to express concern about the bill because, at the time, both senators had not taken a stance on the Protect IP act. Through email, facebook, google docs, and the forums at my.americancensorship.org, a group of about 12 of us from Illinois for Internet Freedom were able to set up and organize a meeting with a representative at Senator Kirk’s office about the PIPA bill. It was a great group that I was glad to be a part of. It was an organized and diverse group, from students to web developers to firemen, we represented Illinois against the PIPA bill today. We met in front of the building, interacting in person for the first time, and exchanged greetings in a security line that was as tight as the ones at O’Hare airport. We had an appointment at 1 and were escorted up to the 39th floor shortly after everyone cleared security. We sat down in a small but fitting conference room where I learned that there is quite a view of downtown from the 39th floor of Chicago’s federal building. But I digress, upon arriving, we each received a copy of a fresh press release from the office of Senator Mark Kirk:
I’ve included his statement below, but here is a link to Mark Kirk’s statement 
January 18, 2012

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Greg Lemon
202-650-7330
Greg_Lemon@kirk.senate.gov

Kirk Announces Opposition to PROTECT IP Act

WASHINGTON - United States Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) today released the following statement announcing his opposition to S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act.

“Freedom of speech is an inalienable right granted to each and every American, and the Internet has become the primary tool with which we utilize this right. The Internet empowers Americans to learn, create, innovate, and express their views. While we should protect American intellectual property, consumer safety and human rights, we should do so in a manner that specifically targets criminal activity. This extreme measure stifles First Amendment rights and Internet innovation.  I stand with those who stand for freedom and oppose PROTECT IP, S.968, in its current form.”

 

 

Victory! It was a surprising relief that caught us off guard and rendered pages of prepared notes now useless. I won’t go into much detail, as I attended as a citizen rather than a journalist, but we discussed the bill and possibilities of similar legislation for about 20 minutes before heading out and splitting into a smaller group to stop by Senator Durbin’s office, which was only one floor down. A representative at Senator Durbin’s office agreed to sit down with two of our members and we are waiting to hear back as to how it went! The phones in Senator Durbin’s office were ringing off the hook! All in opposition to the SOPA and PIPA bills. We are waiting to hear back with how it went.

Yes an updated, and more well-written post is in order, I know, so stop back soon for updates.

We also have a facebook group up and running if anyone wants to join and stay up to date with the issue: Illinois For Internet Freedom

Comments

  1. Thank you for doing that! Can’t wait to hear what Durbin has to say, since he’s listed as a supporter of the bill.

    • chicagoranter says:

      Thanks for your support! As for Durbin, he has dropped off SOPA but still stands with PIPA un fortunately, but keep callingand writing to his office and hopefully that will change

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