Howard Schmidt is officially the Cyber-Security Coordinator of the Obama Administration, frequently shortened to Cyber Security Czar. Aneesh Chopra is the Federal Chief Technology Officer of the United States, the first in that post. Victoria Espinel is the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator for the Office of Management and Budget.
Among the key points in the statement were:
"Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small." [This is one of the concerns brought up by critics of SOPA and PIPA.] [...]
"We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet. Our analysis of the DNS filtering provisions in some proposed legislation suggests that they pose a real risk to cybersecurity and yet leave contraband goods and services accessible online. [...]
"So, rather than just look at how legislation can be stopped, ask yourself: Where do we go from here? Don’t limit your opinion to what’s the wrong thing to do, ask yourself what’s right."
We've already discussed how, as currently written, SOPA would leave its primary target, The Pirate Bay, untouched.
These bills have been called overkill and a road to a "Great Firewall of America," similar to China's widely known "Great Firewall of China," which is used to silence the opposition.
The proposed legislation has drawn criticism, boycotts, and even apps in an effort to halt their passage.