Going down the slippery slope of censorship is fraught with peril, both domestically and abroad. Supporters of the law get angry any time people bring up censorship, but as law professor Derek Bambauer has made clear, any effort to block content is a form of censorship. What we can argue is whether or not this form of censorship makes sense or is a policy that people think makes sense. But no one should deny that bills that lead to blocking access to websites is a form of censorship.
There is reasonable debate as to whether or not this level of censorship goes violates the First Amendment. Constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe has argued that it does violate the First Amendment. Well over 100 of the country’s top legal scholars have made the same argument. Arguing on the other side is well respected First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams… but even he admits that under SOPA and PIPA protected speech would get censored. He just deems that as acceptable collateral damage, as being merely “incidental.” We can argue over whether or not it really is incidental, as we’ve already seen actions against sites under current law that seek to stifle large amounts of protected speech outside of any infringement.