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CISPA protesters rally, but this Internet blackout may fizzle

John P. Mello Jr | April 22, 2013
Without the endorsement of the big technology firms that helped with the SOPA boycott last year, protests against CISPA aren't drawing the same support or attention.

Not supported like SOPA

However, it was the support of those big tech companies-and their deep pockets-that turned the tide against SOPA last year and made the blackout against that bill so effective.

"From a civil liberties perspective, the [CISPA] is far more worrying than SOPA, and some of the same digital rights groups are against it," wrote Robert Levine last year for Fast Company. "But the subject hasn't generated nearly as much controversy, at least in part because Facebook supports it and Google is said to do so."

Those words are as true today as when Levine first wrote them. And they're the reason Monday's blackout will barely be noticed by most Internet users.

Fortunately, CISPA's success isn't pegged to any Internet blackouts. It still has to pass the Senate, where it faces a rockier road than the autobahn it faced in the House.

In addition to Senate opposition, CISPA opponents have another hold card in their hand. President Obama has promised to veto CISPA if it makes it to his desk in the same form that it left the House.



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