By Gautham Nagesh - 08/18/11 06:53 PM EDT
The Senate bill would allow the government to force third parties such as search engines, payment processors and hosting firms to cut off services to sites deemed repeated violators by the Department of Justice. Critics argue the process for designating rogue sites lacks adequate oversight.
Details of the House bill are still being fleshed out, but the legislation may attempt to cut off payments to U.S. firms generated by intellectual property theft in China and other countries. Smith said the bill should also raise funds for DOJ’s Internet enforcement efforts.
Also on the Judiciary Committee’s agenda this fall is H.R. 2164, a bill that require all U.S. employers to verify the legal status of new hires using the Department of Homeland Security’s e-Verify system.
Federal contractors are already required to use the system, and some states have mandated its use as well, but civil-liberties advocates such as the ACLU argue the system creates a de facto black list for workers that is difficult to escape. DHS has worked steadily to decrease the error rate in recent years.
Smith said he was confident President Obama would sign the bill if it passes both chambers of Congress, arguing that passing the legislation would open up for American citizens a significant portion of the 7 million jobs currently held by illegal workers.
Pete Kasperovicz contributed to this post.