The congressional anti-piracy bill, if passed, would not be content to "censor" & "criminalize" the internet. It would kill it. So says Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt:
Schmidt said the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would punish Web firms, including search engines, that link to foreign websites dedicated to online piracy. He said implementing the bill as written would effectively break the Internet.
"By criminalizing links, what these bills do is they force you to take content off the Internet," Schmidt said, calling it a form of censorship.
The search giant has been at the forefront of a tech industry backlash against the legislation from House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas).
"If Congress writes a bad law, we all suffer," Schmidt said.
He compared the proposal to the Web censorship practiced by repressive foreign governments like China and doubled down on that comparison when speaking with reporters after his remarks at the Economic Club of Washington.
"It's not a good thing. I understand the goal of what SOPA and PIPA are trying to do," Schmidt said of the Senate counterpart bill, the Protect IP Act. "Their goal is reasonable, their mechanism is terrible. They should not criminalize the intermediaries. They should go after the people that are violating the law."
Schmidt also criticized SOPA for targeting the Domain Name System, which experts have warned could undermine the security of the Web.
"What they're essentially doing is whacking away at the DNS system and that's a mistake. It's a bad way to go about solving the problem," Schmidt said.