updated 05:05 pm EST, Fri January 20, 2012
Neelie Kroes Twits against SOPA bill
The latest to speak out against the controversial SOPA and PIPA bills is European Union Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes. "Glad tide is turning on SOPA: don't need bad legislation when should be safeguarding benefits of open net," she wrote in a Twitter message. The legislation, if passed, would give the US Justice Department to shut down sites simply suspected of sharing pirated content.
While Kroes admits online piracy is a problem and needs to be stemmed, she believes SOPA is a step too far, as it restricts Internet freedom. She went on to compare SOPA to putting speed bumps on a motorway in order to reduce speeding. She also asked her 32,000 Twitter followers to comment on the shutdown of Megaupload.com. The comments are uncharacteristic, as politicians on the two continents don't usually publicly criticize each other's policies or moves.
A spokesperson for the politician went on to say the EU is working on overhauling its existing rules for intellectual property rights to make it easier to obtain rights to distribute content online legally.
Kroes made a name for herself by imposing large antitrust fines against Microsoft.