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04.24.13

Google Should Condemn CISPA

Posted in Site News at 1:39 am by Guest Editorial Team

Silence or support for CISPA plays into Microsoft’s long standing smear campaign against Google.

For weeks, people have been claiming that Google supports CISPA. Ten days ago, a trade group spoke up for Google [2]. Five days later, right before getting the bill passed by Congress, co author Mike Rogers took time to represent Google and most of the Silicon Valley,

They’ve been helpful and supportive of trying to find the right language in the bill … I always said if I could get Palo Alto and New York City on the same bill, I got something. We found that sweet spot in this particular bill.

Even Wikipedia claims Google support for CISPA, “Google has not taken a public position on the bill [27] but has shown previous support for it, and now says they support the idea but believe the bill needs some work”

Voice jacking may be a downside of being the most loved company in tech and the world [2] but the Microsoft press is having a field day with it. Microsoft’s long slog against Google paints the company as, an evil monopoly, really EVIL, screwing partners and violating user privacy for commercial gain at every turn, basically everything Microsoft is or wants to be. Recent examples include much noise about harmless wifi data collection, Android developers and user data, a flap over privacy policies, really, an unending flap, flap, flap. A long list of older smear jobs can be found by searching Groklaw for the proper terms. Google support for CISPA really would be a reversal and betrayal.

Google’s long standing, official silence is baffling. Google was a hero in the fight against SOPA saying all the right things about censorship and privacy. Eric Schmidt has released an excellent excerpt from his soon to be published book about dangers to network freedom but it does not mention CISPA.

Informed opinion is overwhelmingly against CISPA, but they need help. Today, 34 prominent civil rights organizations issued a statement against the bill and most have been fighting it all along [2, 3]. The same groups also opposed SOPA but were unable to effectively reach the public without help from sites like Google and Wikipedia.

Continued silence allows the wrong people to control the narrative and demoralizes opponents. There have been several articles about how no one showed up for the first round of blackouts and how passage is inevitable without Google and Wikipedia support and how that’s not going to happen. They also say not to worry because Senate does not care and Obama will veto it. This is the usual narrative of the rich and powerful: You little people are weak and helpless, don’t struggle because it will only waste your time.

Techrights firmly opposes CISPA and has written against it several times [2] Users, companies, government and the internet itself don’t have a “cybersecurity” problem, they have a problem with second rate, non free software from companies like Microsoft. CISPA makes the problem worse by giving the usual suspects power to censor and harass [2] people trying to fix things.

Readers wanting to know the basics of CISPA are urged to read the EFF FAQ. Then join us in urging lawmakers to reject CISPA. We really can’t depend on Obama’s veto for this, he’s already signed an executive order almost as bad as CISPA and the house vote is sufficient to override a veto.

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