A number of tech and internet companies are in the midst of a fierce political battle against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PIPa.
The bills have been met with a wave of criticism and opposition from tech companies and civil liberties groups alike, which are arguing that they could open the floodgates to censorship and the taking of personal data by Internet service providers (ISPs) and search engines.
While a few major companies have publicly acknowledged the impact of the bills on their bottom lines, many of the companies have gone so far as to back away from support for the bills.
And some, like Facebook and Twitter, have been accused of having a cozy relationship with the lobbyists who are spearheading their fight.
“This is the biggest story in tech right now,” wrote Alex Lifschitz on Twitter, a staunch supporter of the Stop Internet Piracy and Protect IP bills.
“Many have already been hacked, and many have been made more vulnerable.
But the truth is that the biggest fear in the tech industry is not that the bill will pass, but that it will pass without any major changes.
The lobbyists have made it clear that if we don’t get a change in this Congress, then they’ll try to take away our internet freedom.
And that’s exactly what they are doing.”
The tech companies are currently pushing back against some of the more controversial provisions in the bills, and one of the biggest fights to come up is over a provision that would have allowed ISPs to block search engine websites that don’t comply with terms of service.
According to Techdirt, many major tech companies have voiced opposition to the legislation and its impact on the internet.
Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and YouTube all have publicly said that they oppose the bill.
And Twitter has said it’s considering pulling support for both bills.
In a tweet posted last week, Twitter said it is “actively exploring our options for removing our support for SOPA/PIPA.”
The social media company has been a vocal opponent of the legislation, with the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg saying that he would “vigorously oppose” the legislation.
Facebook has also called out the Stop PIPac bill for being “misguided” and a “mischaracterization of the issue.”
“We believe strongly in freedom of expression, but we also believe it is important for everyone to have access to legitimate, lawful, and trusted information,” the company said.
“As we work toward a more open, collaborative, and transparent internet, we will continue to oppose efforts to restrict access to information and services.
This is especially true given the important role the internet plays in our lives and the impact these bills will have on the lives of millions of Americans.”
While the technology companies have largely backed away from their support for some of these provisions, some, such as Netflix and YouTube, have expressed support for other portions of the bill, including its provisions to allow ISPs to sell information to advertisers.
According the New York Times, Netflix’s vice president of global content, Eric Anderson, has said that the company is “strongly committed” to its support for certain provisions of the SOPA and Pipac bills.
While Anderson is not publicly commenting on the issue, he did tweet in support of the Protect IP bill on Monday.
The Intercept has also published a series of articles detailing how some of Google’s largest partners are working to fight the bills in Congress.
Google, Facebook, and Twitter have all recently come under fire for their efforts to support the bills and to push back against the provisions in it.
Tech giants like Google, Yahoo!, Twitter, and Apple are among the companies who have publicly opposed the bills’ proposed provisions, and they have also publicly defended the legislation as a step toward protecting the internet from government regulation.
In the past, some tech companies, like Microsoft, have also expressed support of a law that would allow ISPs and search engine operators to sell their customers’ personal data to third parties.
This would allow the companies to sell users’ browsing history, emails, and other data, and it could also allow search engines to sell data about users’ online behavior.
Google has also publicly supported the Protect PIPacy bill.
Other major tech giants, such Twitter, Google, and Amazon, have remained silent on the Protect Internet Freedom bill, and Google has not publicly supported either bill.
But even as the companies’ support for Protect IP has dwindled, they have continued to push the legislation through Congress.
On Tuesday, Facebook announced it was also dropping support for a bill that would’ve required search engines like Google to give users information about how they use the internet and the companies that they partner with.
Google also announced it had dropped support for legislation that would require search engines and ISPs to publicly disclose how they’re doing to fight online copyright infringement.
As of Thursday morning, the companies had all announced that they would be backing Protect IP