This morning, as part of the nationwide SOPA/PIPA protests, I called my Congressman Jerry McNerney, a Democrat for whom Pro Publica had no public statements on record regarding the bills. One of his constituent services representatives confirmed my address and took my statement of opposition - SOPA would hurt Internet businesses and the free exchange of ideas. I asked for a public statement against SOPA from the Congressman. Four hours later I got this letter by email, which has also been reported in the local press:
"Thank you for contacting me to share your opposition to H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA),and other similar proposals. I appreciate learning your views, and I value your input.
"I oppose H.R. 3261 as the bill stands as well as similar legislation introduced in the Senate. The intent of the bill is to help law enforcement agencies pursue websites that violate intellectual property laws and sell counterfeit goods, which is a serious and costly problem. However, H.R. 3261 is too broadly written, and I am deeply concerned that the bill infringes on individuals' civil liberties and innovation by small companies. Freedom of speech and the open exchange of information on the internet are directly impeded by this legislation.
"Our economic power has always been based on innovation and the free flow of ideas. The thinkers and creators in our country have always showed remarkable ingenuity, and stopping the stream of information on the internet would put the United States at an international disadvantage. We must remain committed to American advancement that comes from the freedoms we hold most dear. I will oppose legislation that undermines our nation's freedoms and finest traditions."
Call, meet, get to know your reps. It matters.