1. Frank Wolf, slaying the internet
The internet has empowered democratic movements around the world. The combination of instant communication and certain amounts of anonymity has allowed activists around the world to effectively organize against repressive regimes.
Frank Wolf wants to destroy the anonymity part though for American citizens. He is cosponsoring CISPA, a bill that would let the US government and private corporations track, store, and mine your online activity.
More on Frank Wolf and his office below.
2. Frank Wolf, Human Rights hypocrite
Now, had the Iranian or Chinese government proposed an equivalent law, Frank Wolf, the GOP Human Rights champion, would probably be crying about how it is trampling with the right of assembly, privacy, and political activity. And Frank Wolf would be right.
However, Frank Wolf only believes in human right violations with countries that GOP doesn’t like. When it is our allies, or even better, ourselves, then he is happy in using the same excuses that the repressive regimes use for why spying on their own citizens is a good idea: defense against enemies, terrorist, national security.
3.The office’s reluctance to share Frank Wolf’s position on CISPA
I called today his office to ask him to oppose CISPA. As I normally do, I asked for Frank Wolf’s position first. After all, if he were against it, I would then give positive praise.
When I asked for Frank Wolf’s position. the person on the phone told me that she couldn’t speak for the Frank Wolf, and asked me to volunteer my position to give it to him. Weird.
So I asked again if Frank Wolf had taken a public position on CISPA. Then I learned that he had co-sponsored it. I would say that is a very public position.
Why was telling me this to begin with so difficult? It felt to me like they didn’t want me to know. Sure, cosponsoring CISPA is a shameful thing to do. I would also try to hide it if I had done the same. But if the human rights champion is undermining human rights in the U.S., well, that is the way it is.
Or maybe they were busy, and just wanted to end the call soon. This is probably it.
3. Now I am expecting Frank Wolf’s office to accuse me of being a “blogger” .
The last time I had a strange interaction with his office I shared my experience here. The next time I called the office, they passed me to whoever was the supervisor at the time. And he told me in accusatory tone, “You are a blogger“. Then he let me know that there was no reason for me to write on the internet my interactions with them. Not the exact words, but that was the gist.
I felt it was petty. I don’t blog often, and I haven’t done so in years. What I said would get buried and forgotten in the internet very quickly. Yet they felt compelled to accuse me of malice for exercising my political rights.
I didn’t know that if one blogged, one surrendered one’s political rights. I mean, I would expect something like that in China or Iran, but not in the US. Yet, when we sees Wolf’s record on human rights, this double standard, where what the Iranians do is horrible, but okay if done in the U.S. of A., is consistent. I guess I should be more jaded and expect this, but my idealistic soul refuses to die.
So now I wonder if they will call me “blogger” again the next time I call them.