Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian sits down with CNN to discuss Facebook’s IPO offering and how he wouldn’t buy any Facebook stocks. He is taking a “moral stand” because Facebook owns so much of the public’s private data, and with Facebook’s support of privacy invasive CISPA regulations, he refuses to become a part of the company. He talks about Zuckerberg and how Facebook is going to be in a position of having to “satisfy” its stock holders.
Using some forward thinking, one can see that the share holders would require Facebook to make money. Facebook will make money through advertisements most likely. These advertisements will be targeted based on the user’s private data and/or preferences. A more nefarious thought could be that Facebook would directly sell data to data collection agencies for “big brother” purposes. Infowars.com is taking the paranoid stance as always and discusses this idea further (just for the record I believe this paranoia is justified).
The CISPA bill allows the government to collect private data about its citizens (and others I presume) and suspends the 4th amendment for online activities. It has already passed the House and is on its way to the Senate.
Reddit joins Mozilla as the only other major tech company to decry CISPA, with firms like Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Symantec, AT&T and Verizon all backing the bill. Last week, 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.”