Reddit Co-Founder Won't Invest in Facebook Because of Stance on #CISPA

Posted on May 8th 2012

Reddit Co-Founder Won't Invest in Facebook Because of Stance on #CISPA

Reddit is a social news website where the registered users submit content, in the form of either a link or a text "self" post. Other users then vote the submission "up" or "down," which is used to rank the post and determine its position on the site's pages and front page. Reddit was originally founded by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian. It was acquired by Condé Nast Publications in October 2006. In September 2011, Reddit was split from Condé Nast, and now operates as a subsidiary of Condé Nast's parent company, Advance Publications.

In an interview with CNN, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian said he would refuse to buy Facebook stock because of how he views their stance on privacy.

“I’m not planning on it…I understand the business value to what Facebook is doing. We’ve never seen a company like this before–ever. And it knows things about our private lives that no one else does. And one of the big issues that a lot of us in the tech community have had of late has been their support for bills like CISPA that make it really easy for companies like Facebook to hand over private data about us without any due process. So that’s why I’ll be holding off."

Above is the interview  on CNN.

Currently Mozilla and Reddit are the only major tech companies to really decry CISPA, with firms like Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Symantec, AT&T and Verizon all backing the bill. Mozilla released a statement calling the legislation an “alarming” threat to privacy, adding, “The bill infringes on our privacy, includes vague definitions of cybersecurity, and grants immunities to companies and government that are too broad around information misuse.”

Worse Than #Sopa?

CISPA mandates ISPs to share Internet data of users with government “notwithstanding any other provision of law,” it also gives the Department of Homeland Security the power to monitor the communications of the federal courts and Congress, and intercept tax returns sent to the IRS.

“The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a “cybersecurity crime”. Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government’s power,” writes TechDirt’s Leigh Beadon.

The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. It was adopted as a response to the abuse of the writ of assistance, which is a type of general search warrant, in the American Revolution. Search and arrest should be limited in scope according to specific information supplied to the issuing court, usually by a law enforcement officer, who has sworn by it.  

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Tammy Kahn Fennell

CEO, MarketMeSuite

Tammy Kahn Fennell is CEO and co-founder of MarketMeSuite (www.marketmesuite.com), the leading social media management dashboard for small- and mid- sized businesses. In late 2009, after spotting social media trends and recognizing the needs of small business from her own experience, Tammy launched the MarketMeSuite platform to help SMBs easily manage & monitor their social media presence, find targeted leads, build engagement and measure the ROI of their social marketing activities. Today the easy-to-use, affordable platform has over 30,000 users. Tammy has a lot to say on social media topics for small business, so she speaks and blogs frequently. She is also the owner and editor of the community driven blog, WeAreSocialPeople.com.  

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