Yesterday [April 16, 2012], the US House prepared for the debate on the privacy-invading “cybersecurity” bill called CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. The rules committee hearing was the last stop before the bill is voted on by the full House.
In the hearing, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) was questioned about the core problems in the bill, like the broad immunity and new corporate spying powers. In response, he characterized users who oppose CISPA as “14 year olds” tweeting in a basement.
The bill may be voted on as early as Wednesday. This means there’s little time left to speak out. Please tell your Representative to vote no on the bill:
Here are some of the takeaways from the hearing.
Rep. Rogers Dismisses CISPA Opponents as Teenage Basement Tweeters
After a heated exchange about the overly broad legal immunity, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) noted the widespread opposition to CISPA by Internet users. In response, Rep. Rogers characterized opponents to CISPA as “14 year olds” tweeting in a basement. See the video here.
Of course, many people oppose CISPA — several thousand of whom tweeted at Rogers after his remark.
Internet companies like Mozilla, Reddit, NameCheap, Gandi.net, and other have also come out strong against the bill. And over 70 cybersecurity experts and academics sent a joint letter opposing CISPA last year, expressing their firm opposition to the dangers of Roger’s approach to computer security:
We have devoted our careers to building security technologies, and to protecting networks, computers, and critical infrastructure against attacks of many stripes. We take security very seriously, but we fervently believe that strong computer and network security does not require Internet users to sacrifice their privacy and civil liberties.
Earlier this week, 34 civil liberties groups sent a letter opposing CISPA in its current form.
And the newest addition to CISPA opposition? The White House, which issued a veto threat(PDF) yesterday.