Rep Mike Rogers (R-MI) is a former FBI spook turned Congressman. In addition to being an authoritarian creep (he was one of CISPA's co-sponsors) who hates Internet users (he dismissed CISPA's millions of vociferous opponents as "14-year-olds in their basement clicking around on the internet") and loves warrantless NSA spying -- he's also apparently a coward, whose staffers reportedly say that criticizing him on the Internet is defamation. According to a Michigan reporter, they told the press that Rogers could sue Techdirt's Mike Masnick for "defamation" for closely and critically covering his policies. As Masnick says, it's "unbecoming of an elected official to try to chill the free speech of those who criticize his statements and actions with implied threats of lawsuits to silence their public participation."
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I had a fun phone call with a reporter in Michigan earlier today who is apparently working on a story about Rep. Mike Rogers. In doing some research for the article, he spoke with staffers in Rogers' office about some of the things I've written about Rogers and his position on internet surveillance and cybersecurity. The reporter told me that the staffers said they're "well aware of" me, but that they felt I was "an extreme liberal" and that I was using "liberal" talking points to attack him. Also, according to this reporter, they said that they could sue me for defamation concerning things I'd said about Rogers. Yes, it's come to this.
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