Politics

Santorum: ‘the Internet is not a free zone where anybody can do anything they want’

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum voiced his distaste of “the idea” that “anything goes on the Internet” Thursday during the Republican Presidential Debate on CNN.

Santorum’s comments came in response to a question posed to the GOP field over their positions on the pending anti-piracy legislation in Congress, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

While the four contenders all voiced their opposition to the bill, Santorum went further to articulate his ideas on Internet freedom:

“But I will not agree with everybody up here that there isn’t something that can and should be done to protect the intellectual property rights of people.”

“The Internet is not a free zone where anybody can do anything they want to do and trample the rights of other people, and particularly when we’re talking about — in this case, we’re talking about entities offshore that are doing so, that are pirating things.”

“But the idea that, you know, anything goes on the Internet, where did that come from? Where in America does it say that anything goes? We have laws, and we respect the law. And the rule of law is an important thing, and property rights should be respected.”

Santorum, when asked several days ago about his position on SOPA, said that the Internet has been a great source for good and a great source for bad in this country, admitted similar beliefs in the limits of freedom on the Internet.

“The idea that we should just hands off, and it’s a morals free zone, and it’s a regulation free zone, and that people should be able to do whatever they want, I don’t know of any other zone in America where that is the case,” he said.

During Wednesday’s SOPA “Blackout Day,” Texas Rep. Ron Paul was the only the only GOP presidential candidate to publicly denounce the bills. Paul, along with California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, was the one of the first Republicans to come out with several Democrats against the legislation.

When questioned about SOPA on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney spoke out against burdensome regulations instituted by the Obama administration that keep businesses from growing.

“This bill is not going to pass,” said Paul during Thursday’s CNN debate. “But watch out for the next one.”

“Freedom and the Constitution bring factions together. I think this is a good example,” said Paul.

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