The SOPA and PIPA bills would allow the government to black out a site that infringed on a copyright. Search engines would have to stop providing links to those sites. The bill would also prevent companies like Paypal from transferring funds to blocked out sites. "I have friends who study in China and all these sites are blocked. You think America has been priding itself on being a free country and I think it's just taking away a lot of our freedom," said Kaster.
Critics say the legislation violates free speech. "It really worries me to talk about any sort of prior restraint on the internet," said Michael Scott, a professor at The University of Rochester. Scott says while sites like Facebook and Twitter could probably afford legal fees or fines smaller sites where people blog, share photos or videos probably cannot. "Imagine a site where you go for content and somebody decides there is pirated material there. So, they get a court to pose an injunction. Now, you can't find any of the legitimate stuff there either," said Scott. Many worry criminals would find away around the law.
The Senate is scheduled to vote on PIPA on January 24th. However, many senators are pushing to delay the vote. A sponsor of SOPA has agreed to revise the bill, but cannot say how long that would take.