EU's top Internet official criticises US web crackdown
(BRUSSELS) - The European Union's top Internet official criticised on Friday planned US legislation against online piracy and voiced concerns about the closure of the popular file-sharing site Megaupload.com.
Commenting on a US House bill under debate called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Neelie Kroes wrote on the micro-blogging website: "Glad tide is turning on SOPA: don't need bad legislation when should be safeguarding benefits of open net."
"Internet regulation must be effective, proportionate & preserve benefits of open net," she said in a second tweet, which also followed a question about her thoughts on the shutdown of Megaupload.
"Speeding is illegal too: but you don't put speed bumps on the motorway," she added.
Her spokesman said later that the tweets were made to open the debate in Europe about online piracy legislation, and that Kroes was not promoting illegal downloading.
The EU official was not criticising the reasons behind the closure of Megaupload by US authorities but she was voicing concerns about unilateral action that has global consequences.
While the website allows users to download thousands of films, television series and music, they can also legally store images and other data on the website.
The SOPA bill, which aims to crack down on online piracy of movies and music, and a similar bill going through the Senate, drew online protests with Wikipedia shutting its encyclopedia for 24 hours and Google blotting out the logo on its US home page with a black banner.
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