As internet privacy advocates continue their fight to stop CISPA – The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act – that they feel would make it too easy for internet companies to pass on personal information of citizens to government agencies, the news has emerged that Pro-CISPA groups give far more in the way of funding to House members than anti-CISPA groups.
CISPA is currently awaiting approval from the House Intelligence Committee and if it gets this, it then goes on to be voted upon in the House. The committee process is considered to be the most crucial stage in the legislative process – often determining whether a bill succeeds or falls by the wayside.
The battle against CISPA is gaining momentum, as several major web companies that supported it in the last session of Congress like Facebook and Microsoft have since withdrawn their support, stating that privacy concerns are the main reason for their change of heart.
But according to a MapLight.org article entitled “Groups Supporting CISPA Invest in Influence“, the funding for House members from pro-CISPA groups greatly exceeds that from anti-CISPA organizations. Their figures show that groups which support the bill like AT&T, IBM, Chamber of Commerce and Comcast to name but a few have given more than $55 million to House members, compared to the $4 million given by anti-CISPA groups like the EFF and the American Civil Liberties Union.
“House members have received, on average, 13 times more money in campaign contributions from pro-CISPA organizations than from anti-CISPA organizations.
House Intelligence Committee members have received, on average, 15 times more money in campaign contributions from pro-CISPA organizations than from anti-CISPA organizations.”
Last week, Pro-CISPA lawmaker Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) deleted a retweet of the MapLight campaign funding analysis. The tweet was deleted just 23 minutes after it was posted, by either Rogers or perhaps a member of his staff.
The tweet was saved and archived however by the Sunlight Foundation’s Politwoops project. Rep. Rogers is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and according to MapLight’s stats he has received $214,750 from groups and organizations that support CISPA.