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Congressional leaders are preparing to shelve controversial legislation aimed at tackling online piracy after president Barack Obama said he would not support it.
The White House said it would not support legislation that "reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risks or undermines the dynamic, innovative global internet."
The White House expressed concern about both these elements and about passing legislation that threatened the openness of the internet. In the online statement it said any new legislation must be "narrowly targeted".
"Any provision covering internet intermediaries such as online advertising networks, payment processors, or search engines must be transparent and designed to prevent overly broad private rights of action that could encourage unjustified litigation that could discourage startup businesses and innovative firms from growing," said the White House.
The Obama administration also came out firmly against any plans to target the Domain Name System (DNS), a foundation of internet security, in order to tackle sites accused of piracy. Any proposed legislation "must not tamper with the technical architecture of the internet," said the White House
This weekend Rupert Murdoch – whose News Corporation includes the Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox, took to Twitter to attack the Obama administration for its criticism of Sopa.
"So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy. Plain thievery," Murdoch wrote in a series of tweets that accused Google of hosting pirated material and selling advertising against it. Google dismissed his claims as "nonsense".