U.S. Senate majority leader Harry Reid (Democrat, Nevada) says he will delay a scheduled vote on the controversial bill aimed at cracking down on online piracy that sparked high-profile protests this week.
Reid's announcement came two days after Republican John Boehner (Ohio), the speaker of the House of Representatives, said there was a "lack of consensus at this point" on the House version of the bill.
Support for the two versions of the legislation in the Congress -- the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House of Representatives -- has been falling rapidly in the face of online protests.
On January 18, free online encyclopedia Wikipedia and Internet giant Google led a wave of protest against the legislation.
In a related development, U.S. authorities have shut down the content sharing website Megaupload and charged seven people in what officials are calling one of the largest criminal copyright cases ever in the United States.
In response, the hacker group known as Anonymous said it had launched attacks against the websites of the Justice Department, the Motion Picture Association of America, and the Recording Industry Association of America.
compiled from agency reports