Murdoch Criticizes Obama on Twitter
Global media tycoon Rupert Murdoch used his Twitter account over the weekend to attack US President Barack Obama over his administration’s opposition to parts of draft anti-online piracy legislation.
“So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery,” Murdoch wrote Saturday.
The president and founder of the News Corporation media empire was referring to a White House statement released Saturday in which the administration says what it will and will not support in terms of how to combat online piracy.
“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,” the statement said.
“Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small.”
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is currently before the House of Representatives, while the Protect IP Act is the version before the Senate.
The proposals have won the backing of Hollywood, the music industry, the Business Software Alliance, the National Association of Manufacturers and the US Chamber of Commerce.
But last month, the founders of Google, Twitter, Yahoo! and other Internet giants expressed concern over the two drafts, saying in a open letter that they would “give the US government the power to censor the Web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran.”
“We urge Congress to think hard before changing the regulation that underpins the Internet,” they said. “Let’s not deny the next generation of entrepreneurs and founders the same opportunities that we all had.”
Signatories to the letter included Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, Google co–founder Sergey Brin, Twitter co-founders Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams, Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, Yahoo! co-founders David Filo and Jerry Yang, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley, PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.