Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has delivered a resounding denunciation of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
In doing so, he’s taking the side of big names in technology and the Web, from Google, Yahoo, and eBay to Reddit and Tumblr.
They say SOPA gives the federal government unheard-of powers in shuttering websites allegedly involved in illegal file-sharing. SOPA, its opponents argue, could essentially kill the Internet.
Al Gore agrees.
"Whether you want to solve global warming as I do, whether you want to reinvorgate democracy as many others do... there is hardly anything as important as to save and protect the vibrancy and freedom of the Internet," Gore says in the video, which was uploaded Jan. 4 to YouTube.
"The Internet is bringing life back to democracy. We saw it in Egypt. We're seeing it in Russia now," Gore continued. "Maybe those aren't the best examples. But if you look at the reform movement around the world more than likely they're based on Internet forms of organization.
"Anything that would serve to threaten the vibrancy and freedom of the Internet in the future I am against."
Gore didn't quite invent the Internet, but in the '90s he was key in popularizing the idea of an "information superhighway," he authored legislation spurring the development of commercial uses of the Internet, and he's long been a proponent of Internet freedom.
Discussion on SOPA in the U.S. House is delayed until representatives return from winter recess in mid January.