Why Does Rep. Mike Rogers Always Mock The Internet And Its Users?

from the do-you-not-care-about-the-public? dept

Rep. Mike Rogers, who has long been a strong supporter of stomping on your privacy in the name of supporting his friends (and family) who are a part of the intelligence-industrial complex, seems to have a real hatred for the internet and the people who express their opinion via the internet. No wonder he was the lead sponsor of CISPA and wanted the ability to undermine the privacy promises of internet companies. Back when the CISPA debate was happening, and there was widespread grassroots opposition, Rogers dismissed it all, claiming that it was just “14-year-olds in their basement clicking around on the internet.

So it should come as little surprise that when he stood up on the House floor yesterday to defend the NSA’s mass collection of Americans’ private information, he once again mocked the internet and its users. You can watch Rogers’ impassioned speech here, which is almost entirely made up of misleading rhetoric in defense of the program, and concludes with this obnoxious sendoff:

Are we so small that we can only look at our Facebook likes today in this Chamber? Or are we going to stand up and find out how many lives we can save?

Note the implication: those supporting the Amash Amendment are those awful basement-dweller “internet” types who are tweeting and Facebooking their support — and those people don’t matter. Sorry, Rep. Rogers, but those people are the American public whose interests you’re supposed to be representing. Not the interests of your wife’s career opportunities, or the interests of your friends in law enforcement.

A few other tidbits from his speech: He claims that “this program and others” stopped 54 terrorist attacks. Note the “and others.” No one has yet shown any actual evidence that this program — the one being debated — did actually stop any attacks or, even when it may have been used in investigations, that it was necessary as compared to other investigative techniques and programs.

Amusingly, while he conflates “this program” with “others” when talking about how important it is, earlier in the speech he goes in the other direction, focusing very narrowly on “this program.” In the opening he insists that, under this program, the NSA collects “no emails, no phone calls, no names, and no addresses.” Right. This program, the Section 215 “business records” collection of bulk metadata, does not include that info. But the NSA is collecting much of that info through other programs. Or, you know, through publicly available databases. We’ve seen many people argue that “this program” doesn’t include things like names attached to phone numbers, but does anyone actually think that the NSA isn’t able to do a reverse lookup to match a phone number to a name? Meanwhile, it’s well known that the feds absolutely can get emails and phone calls if necessary. So, to say that because those things aren’t obtained under this program, it means this program is fine, is silly — because it’s not difficult to get from this program to those others.

He also exaggerates how many people have said this program is legal. Especially when it comes to Congressional oversight. As this very debate showed, many in Congress were misled into believing this program was entirely different. Furthermore, when he claims that the various Intelligence Committees in the House and the Senate “approved” of this program, claiming they “came together” and supported the program, he implies that it was universal approval, but as we’ve seen from Senators Wyden and Udall that’s hardly the case. And I won’t even get into ridiculous fear mongering mentions of 9/11 and how without this program we’re back to 9/10. That’s just wrong.

Perhaps if Rep. Rogers actually went out and spoke to the American public, rather than insulting them, he might learn that his job is to represent them, and not the intelligence community and the big defense contractors. This isn’t about getting Facebook likes. This is about the American public.

Filed Under: , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Why Does Rep. Mike Rogers Always Mock The Internet And Its Users?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

These are the same lies that have been told over and over to sell it to the public. Only now we see that congress is broken sadly way beyond the bounds of what is even true.

There is a reason why the public is outraged over this program and many others suspected to be like it. I promise come voting time there will be a day of reckoning for those I get to vote for over this matter. They can lie, paint the hog’s ear to be like something else but this is not going to blow over.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

They understand the internet and what it can do. They understand it allows people to bypass the information controls they carefully established through decade of media outlet manipulation. They understand that it allows people to consolidate instead of remaining divided into whatever race, gender, religious or financial segregation they have chosen to prevent a unified opposition.

What they don’t understand yet is how to control it, and without that sort of control they have to attempt to minimize it’s effectiveness as much as possible.

Greevar (profile) says:

Under siege?

People don’t terrorize without a reason and we are certainly not under siege. If you listen to this guy, we should believe that every terrorist is a cartoon exaggeration whom plots the destruction of the United States (maniacal laugh). He’s a liar and a charlatan.

If I were a terrorist, I’d be quite pleased with myself for the fear and paranoia I have sewn amongst the citizens and government of the United State of America. Take a look at the state of our DoJ and congress. The terrorists have exactly what they want, people startled by shadows and whispers.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Everything said on the floor is bullshit

When Jon Kyl anounced that abortion services are well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does (starting the now cherished Was Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement meme.

But Jon Stewart’s response to this was to note that bullshitting-off-the-top-of-your-head is now a mainstay practice in congressional debate. One starts with the premise those who oppose my position are baby-eaters and then works it a bit and tries to throw-in key words from the topic at hand until it sounds plausible.

What we need is a WATSON type computer on the floor that fact-checks every statement and buzzes and flashes obnoxiously whenever someone tries to pass a falsehood as cited fact.

ChronoFish (profile) says:

The terrorist won

It has been said that the “terrorist” hate “our freedoms” and “our country”.

Yet the biggest supporters of the police state insist that “9/11” changed everything. That the only way to be free is give up being free.

The “terrorist” have won. Because of the actions of 9/11 and the unsuccessful attempts since then, we live in a less free country. It doesn’t matter that the “terrorist” are not in control. It only matters that we are less free.

Their (the terrorist) “Mission is Accomplished”


Anonymous Coward says:

he is behaving just as anyone else does who doesn’t understand something or those who use it. all this pomp and bluster is typical of an ignorant prat who is trying to make out that he is the one with the knowledge and everyone else are the idiots! like stated, he needs to start to realise that he is supposed to represent the people, not the security agencies and certainly not defense contractors that have ties with his family!

Anonymous Coward says:

this guy is bought and paid for. It wouldn’t matter if it was free speech or privacy or any other amendment this guys would fear monger about why we need to get rid of these troublesome liberties.

The only thing he goes for is a + for business and a – for the public. There should be a dedicated internet campaign to Primary the shit out of this guy.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...