One of the most conservative members of Congress signaled on Monday what may be the beginning of the end for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA): Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee and one of the GOP’s frontmen against so-called “job killing regulations,” has officially come out against it.
Taking issue with its potential for abuse, Ryan said that SOPA could actually be a new kind of onerous regulation — the one thing Republicans hate most.
“The Internet is one of the most magnificent expressions of freedom and free enterprise in history,” Ryan explained in a prepared statement. “It should stay that way. While H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act, attempts to address a legitimate problem, I believe it creates the precedent and possibility for undue regulation, censorship and legal abuse. I do not support H.R. 3261 in its current form and will oppose the legislation should it come before the full House.”
Ryan’s statement comes days after a group of activists with the social media forum Reddit.com launched a campaign called “Pull Ryan,” in reaction to rumors that he was in favor of SOPA. Ryan later disavowed those rumors and insisted he hadn’t made up his mind.