CISPA Sponsor Claims Opposition Is '14 Year Olds In Their Basement'

from the taking-the-high-road? dept

The House Committee on Rules has been debating CISPA and what will be covered in the official floor debate and what amendments will be presented tomorrow or the next day (whenever it hits the floor). Much of it was routine stuff, but there were some typical bogus grandstanding about the giant threat of a cyberattack that’s going to kill us all (be afraid!) if we don’t do something (no worry about if that something will actually help). Representative Mike Rogers, the sponsor of CISPA and its main backer, decided that he was going to take the lowest road possible in talking about the concerns of privacy advocates by saying that the only opposition is “14-year-olds in their basement.” That statement followed the claim that “Silicon Valley CEOs support CISPA.”

Update: Sina Khanifer has uploaded a video of Rogers making these comments.

This is insulting on a whole variety of levels. First of all, it suggests that privacy advocates are nothing more than children. That’s ridiculous. The White House, who have raised privacy concerns about the bill, are 14-year-olds in their basement? Rogers honestly thinks insulting the President is the way to get CISPA passed? The ACLU are 14-year-olds in their basement? Really? The tens of thousands of people who have contacted Congress in the past few weeks about this are all 14-year-olds in their basement? Rogers owes the public he represents a massive apology.

Second, the comment about Silicon Valley CEOs is not true. Yes, there are some tech companies who are in favor of CISPA, mainly because of the liability protections they would get. But it is hardly an across the board belief. Many, many tech companies are all quite concerned about CISPA and what it will mean for the privacy of their users. Both Mozilla and Reddit have strongly spoken out against CISPA. Do they not count?

Third, the idea that because some Silicon Valley CEOs support CISPA, it means that there couldn’t possibly be any concern. This is a outgrowth of the myth that SOPA was only stopped because tech companies spoke out. As such, politicians like Rogers think all they need to do is appease tech CEOs, and not the public, whom they’re supposed to represent. That Rogers would so outwardly admit that as long as a small group of tech CEOs favor the bill (which is already a highly questionable statement), that he can ignore the public and insult them, is really stunning.

Of course, what this really shows is Rep. Mike Rogers’ absolute disdain for privacy. He doesn’t take the concerns of the public, of privacy advocates, and even of the White House seriously. Instead, he sees privacy as something that should be mocked and those who support it insulted. Why should such a person be in charge of wiping out privacy laws on the internet?

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Comments on “CISPA Sponsor Claims Opposition Is '14 Year Olds In Their Basement'”

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61 Comments
out_of_the_blue says:

First, Mike: Obama promising veto means the fix is in.

That’s almost certain. Sheerly PR game to make you believe is still in play.

2nd, for the guy who here in his own blog called Orrin Hatch “Senator Fido” to now chide whoever with a stretch that he insulted Obama… Sheesh. YOU are one of the 14-year olds referred to, Mike. No self-awareness at all. Just whatever you do is automatically right. You begin, after 15 years, to be a little puzzled why no one in DC obeys your diktat, but your chutzpah sees you through. — Try holding your breath until you turn BLUE, heh, heh.

Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up same place!
http://techdirt.com/
Where Mike daily proves the value of an economics degree.
10:13:30[l-170-3]

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: First, Mike: Obama promising veto means the fix is in.

Wait. Are you really Mike’s evil twin? Because I’m starting to go there. I’ve got conspiracy theories on my mind so you’re either the evil twin, an omega reptilian cat alien, a mouse or a timed out troll that thinks it’s found its bridge.

Ah, right, and the sig – perhaps make it, I don’t know, shorter like.. The Loop Tour 99 mother fuckers!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: First, Mike: Obama promising veto means the fix is in.

Hey look guys I have a secret code only I can check so you guys know if it’s really me posting. That makes sense right guys, right?

So the guy above me is an imposter who failed my secret code challenge. I am the real ootb. Look I can prove it:

11:12:61[I-D10-T]

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: how do i know this

Mike Rogers, as opposed to everyone else in the world, knows exactly what the law is for.
It appears to be targeted at 14 year olds living in basements as opposed to cybercrime.
“Those nasty teenagers and their datamats, when I was young they were the size of houses!”
Just to calm you down: He was talking about the 14 year olds not the computers!

The Firewall (user link) says:

Boston Bombing will be used to bolster support for CISPA

Political opportunists being what they are, we can fully expect the White House to use whatever they can from this tragedy to further their policy agenda.

And there is some red meat in the bombing story the administration can use to support the need for CISPA:

http://libertyfirewall.com/2013/04/16/watch-for-it-boston-bombing-will-justify-attack-on-1st-amendment/

Beech says:

Re: Re:

I, too, was insulted that a public figure had to resort to making ad homs about a caricature of his opponents. Maybe say something good about the bill instead? Maybe allay the fears of government spying? …Well I guess he couldn’t do that because that’s exactly what the bill is about, so childish ad homs it is!

Anonymous Coward says:

so why was he voted in in the first place? dont tell me that the other choice was even worse? this guy needs to be seriously scorned by all those he is ‘supposedly representing’! he needs to be made aware of the fact that the writing is on the wall as far as his next term is concerned! considering he relies totally on the public voting for him, how does he expect to belay their fears of complete intrusion, total lack of privacy and nothing other than insulting behaviour? the thing that would put the icing on the cake though, would be to find out who has treated him like the half-wit he undoubtedly is, and paid him to propose the bill in the first place!! that could prove very interesting!!

Rapnel (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Ideaz. Send an email to each of his constituents, ask them pointedly “Do you think those that oppose CISPA are 14 years old that live in their basement?” and invite them to a group chat so that they can defend their stance. Screw congressmen, let’s just, you know, hook up. Congress is doing it wrong, has been doing it wrong for years and who’s left with the pieces? Nah, bitches, you don’t get to speak for us for very much longer and it’s looking like too long at that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

He is from a country district in Alabama. After the latest gerrymandering, the chance of republicans losing in the race is very low. Internally he is so conservative socially and “he is in vehement opposition to abortion, gay marriage and immigration”. So he cannot fear anything from the right side in the primaries let alone a resurrection of George freaking Wallace…

Btw. His record earned him “April 2012 Porker of the Month”

Welcome to american politics where gerrymandering is more potent as a way to win than actual politicy.

Loki says:

This is a outgrowth of the myth that SOPA was only stopped because tech companies spoke out. As such, politicians like Rogers think all they need to do is appease tech CEOs, and not the public, whom they’re supposed to represent. That Rogers would so outwardly admit that as long as a small group of tech CEOs favor the bill (which is already a highly questionable statement), that he can ignore the public and insult them, is really stunning.

I don’t find it stunning at all, nor do I consider it a myth. Despite the massive public outcry, I still firmly believe it was the massive business pushback that resulted in the death of SOPA.

If I were a politician, I too would have nothing but contempt for people who constantly whined about my job performance and then let me and all my pals keep their jobs every few years.

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