Player of the Week: Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.)

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) has a big task this week.

Amid mounting opposition to his cybersecurity legislation, Rogers must deal with the onslaught. 

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Rogers is familiar with conflict. He is a former FBI agent who now heads the House Intelligence Committee. 

In many ways, the controversy swirling around his cybersecurity measure is surprising. After all, the bill has 106 co-sponsors and has been approved by the Intelligence Committee on a 17-1 vote.

Rogers says his legislation seeks to protect American businesses, which are “targeted by nation-state actors like China and Russia for cyber exploitation and theft.” This leads to losses in intellectual property and sensitive information.

Backers of the bill span the political spectrum, including conservative Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and liberal Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). 

But Internet activists are not fans of it. 

Some of the same groups that led the successful fight in killing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) are now homing in on Rogers’s bill. They fear the legislation would undermine the privacy of Internet users, claiming that the provisions of the bill are written too broadly. 

Rogers is savvy, however. He will not let opponents of his Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) dominate the debate. 

Rogers is scheduled to deliver a speech on the legislation Tuesday morning to the Ripon Society. Throughout the week, he can be expected to counterattack arguments made by critics. 

The lawmaker has learned lessons from the death of SOPA, which was well on its way to becoming law before Wikipedia and other leading websites torpedoed it by going dark or semi-dark in protest. 

Before SOPA and PIPA were thwarted, members withdrew their co-sponsorships. Leaders of the House and Senate subsequently said they were not going to seek floor votes on the bills.

So far, not one lawmaker has backed away from CISPA, which is scheduled to be voted on on the House floor next week. Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Democracy and Technology and Fight for the Future hope to change that.