May 21, 2013
Lacking a Corporate Outcry, CISPA Looks Likely to Pass
Posted on Apr 28, 2012
The hacking collective Anonymous is back with another pulse-pounding video, this time in an attempt to rally the American public against the “SOPA-like” CISPA bill that passed the House of Representatives and now heads to the Senate.
But CISPA is not SOPA and the difference is significant. SOPA was a law introduced in late 2011 aimed at giving media and entertainment companies the authority to order Internet service providers to block websites that enable copyright infringement. The bill would have given corporations the power to censor most if not all sites where people connect to share information and media.
There was big corporate opposition to SOPA—AOL, Google, Facebook, eBay and scores of other Internet companies rallied to organize a full day of Internet blackout, which placed tremendous pressure on lawmakers to abandon the bill.
This time, however, Microsoft appears to be the lone corporate power speaking against CISPA. Previously a supporter of the bill, a spokesperson for the company recently said that any law governing the Internet must allow “us to honor the privacy and security promises we make to our customers.”
Why are other companies not banding together to fight CISPA as they did against SOPA? Probably because only the privacy of Internet users is at stake: The law would not directly interfere with any company’s ability to do business. Divided from the powerful corporations that once spoke for them, opposing CISPA seems to be in the urgent interest of American citizens alone. And without the resources and organization required to wage an aggressive public battle, it seems a certainty that lawmakers who back the legislation will prevail.
—Alexander Reed Kelly
Previous item: ‘Left, Right & Center’: Playing the Bin Laden Card
New and Improved Comments