Robert Hurt comes out against SOPA

Virginia Fifth District Congressman Robert Hurt (R-Chatham) has expressed his opposition to SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act [PDF], which has come under fire from right and left due to its potential for the government to censor the Internet.

In an interview on Monday, January 9, on WINA-AM radio’s The Schilling Show in Charlottesville, Hurt predicted to host Rob Schilling that the proposed legislation – which is cosponsored by Sixth District Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Roanoke) – is “probably going to hit some pretty rough sledding when we get back to Washington,” referring to the House of Representatives’ return after its Christmas break.

Hurt expressed his reservations about “the consequences of enacting legislation that would suddenly bring the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., into censoring online content.” He called those provisions of SOPA “unprecedented and really frightening.”

Schilling asked: “Robert, based on what you’ve seen of this legislation in its current form, are you prepared to say that you could not support it as it’s currently written?”

Hurt’s reply:

Yeah, I have a real problem with it and I don’t think at this point it’s something that I could consider supporting. I would want to see some changes made to it before I could consider it but overall, I have significant problems with it.

According to a web site called “SOPAOpera,” which is tracking the positions of Members of Congress on the bill, Robert Hurt’s stance is listed as “unknown.” The interview on The Schilling Show may have been Hurt’s first public opportunity to express his opposition to SOPA.

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