REDDIT FOUNDER ALEXIS OHANIAN SAYS HE WON'T BUY FACEBOOK SHARES
- Warren Buffett isn't the only investor holding off on buying shares in Facebook's IPO later this month. So is Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, and for a very different reason: Facebook's support of the controversial Cybersecurity Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, Forbes reports.
In an interview with CNN posted Monday, May 7, Soledad O'Brien asked Ohanian if he would buy Facebook shares. The entrepreneur and angel investor told O'Brien explained why not:
"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."
Forbes reminds that the administrators of Reddit's hugely popular social media site took a stand against CISPA and its Senate counterparts last Thursday in a post on the company's blog, writing that the bills don't include adequate safeguards in their measures to allow companies to pass information to the government. In its final form when it was passed by the house last month, CISPA allowed the sharing of private user data with government agencies regarding not just cybersecurity but a wide range of issues from crime to the "protection of individuals from death or serious bodily harm," and the bill was written to circumvent other privacy laws.
"We are against CISPA and any other cybersecurity bills that don't precisely define what information can be shared between private companies and the government, how that information can be used, and adequate safeguards to ensure these protections," read the company's blog.
Reddit's users, administrators, and particularly Ohanian were outspoken critics of the Stop Online Piracy Act, another controversial bill that threatened to block foreign "rogue websites." Thanks in part to a blackout protest of Reddit, Wikipedia, and other sites, that bill was canned in January.
Aside from Reddit, Mozilla remains the only major tech firm to take a stand against CISPA. Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Oracle, AT&T and Verizon all quietly support the bill, while Google has yet to take a public stand on the issue.
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