Wednesday May 23, 2018

NY Tech Community Mobilization Helped Kill SOPA/PIPA

PolitickerNY recently examined the public protests over the Internet privacy bills SOPA and PIPA, taking an in-depth look at all the factors at play. There appears to be plenty of blame to go around for the fact that these bills got so far in the legislature without enough tech community input.

Some are saying that the Democrats were doing the film industry’s bidding and were less responsive to their constituents than Republicans. Hill staffers point out that very few people weighed in on the bills as they went through the legislative process. And the tech community, which always thought that what happened in Washington wouldn’t affect them,  didn’t get involved until it was almost too late.

Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand had been meeting with the NY tech community before the protests and were already changing language to address concerns. However, minor modifications weren’t enough to quell opposition, Andrew Rasiej, the chairman of the NY Tech Meetup said. Rasiej sent out an email message to 20,000 people asking them to come out in person to oppose the bill.