The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, was almost universally vilified by those in the tech community. Ryan never co-sponsored the bill, but that didn't stop rumors from circulating that he supported it.
Eventually, Ryan was at least partially forced to make a statement on the bill by pressure from a group of anti-SOPA Reddit users who either found his stance vague or believed he supported the bill. That group began "Operation Pull Ryan," a grassroots effort to support Ryan's opponent in an upcoming Congressional race.
Soon after the Reddit group began gaining momentum, Ryan announced his opposition to SOPA, saying that it would create "the precedent and possibility for undue regulation, censorship and legal abuse." He added that the Internet is "one of the most magnificent expressions of freedom and free enterprise in history" and it should "stay that way." He did, however, add that Internet piracy was a "legitimate problem."
Now let's work to get the open internet into both the Democrat and Republican party platforms!