When Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) told opponents of his bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, that anyone who opposes his bill is some “14-year-old tweeter in the basement” recently, he was just trying to discredit his opponents with an immature argument in support of his McCarthy-like fear-mongering. But those opponents have proven to be more than angry teenagers. They are angry businesses and civil rights organizations and more than 100,000 voters on a White House petition.
After Rogers’ comment was released, his Twitter page, @RepMikeRogers, was filled with thousands of replies from users upset at being written off.
“I oppose #CISPA. I'm a grown man with a job, and I will use money from that job to help fund your opponent's campaign,” @marsroverdriver tweeted, to which @TheReclusiveOne replied, “I second that statement, and raise you a 'And I'm a Republican too!' Stupid CISPA”
Reddit founder and Internet activist Alexis Ohanian tweeted, “Now would be a good time to remind @RepMikeRogers we're not all '14-yr-old tweeters in basements' ... #stopCISPA”
Fight For The Future objected to another misstep in Rogers’ rhetoric.
“@RepMikeRogers misinformation absurd. 'We've yet to find a single company that opposes this bill.' Here's a list: http://SaveYourPrivacyPolicy.org “ @fightfortheftr tweeted.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has set up a website to help American voters contact their representatives to speak out on the bill, which is up for a vote this week, while also compiling a list of 34 civil liberties organizations that have joined President Obama in opposing the bill.
A White House petition that ended on Monday required 100,000 signatures to warrant action. It got 110,641. In response, the Obama Administration released a statement of administration policy, clarifying that President Obama’s advisers would recommend that he veto the bill if it passes the House vote scheduled this week.
Nevertheless, Rogers claims he can make his case.
“Took my nephew, I had to work him over a lot on this bill, because he didn’t understand the mechanics of it,” Rogers said. “I hear that a lot. Once you understand the threat and you understand the mechanics of how it works and you understand that people are not monitoring your content of your emails, most people say, ‘got it.’ ”