Open source software-maker Red Hat took to its blog Wednesday to speak out against controversial Internet legislation meant to prevent online piracy.
Red Hat and other critics of the Stop Online Piracy and the Protect IP acts, known as SOPA and PIPA, claim that the legislation would censor the Internet and throttle innovative American businesses.
"What we really do depends on the freedom of the Internet, and anything that could lead to greater censorship is of serious concern to us," said Rob Tiller, a member of Red Hat's legal team.
Red Hat's blog post stated that the legislation "poses a threat to the future success of Red Hat and other innovative companies" because the bills overreach, raising "enormous concerns for North Carolina home grown technology companies."
Internet giants like Google, Wikipedia and Mozilla posted information on the legislation or blacked out their web pages in a show of solidarity on Wednesday.
The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on PIPA Jan. 24. N.C. Senator Kay Hagan is a sponsor of the bill, which would mandate sites like Google to remove search listings of overseas "rogue websites" that are found to be dedicated to copyright infringement.
SOPA similarly orders U.S. based companies to block access to foreign websites participating in copyright infringement. The legislation is backed by media and entertainment companies and is intended to stop piracy.
"The legislation is highly technical and one of the big problems about it is that it has vague definitions that could be applied in a lot of different ways," Red Hat's Tiller said.
"The worry is not that we're violating the law in a particular way, but that all of the companies that use the Internet as a important part of their operations could be threatened by the law because it is so uncertain."