If you went to the ROFLcon in Boston last weekend, there’s probably one moment that sticks out: Jay Maynard, better known as Tron Guy, standing up during the final panel and delivering a brief but passionate speech about conservatism, cybersecurity legislation like the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), and the need for a bipartisan alliance to ensure that any such bad Internet legislation gets killed well before it can cause harm.
As far these things go, this was pretty much a bravura performance. And now, thanks to PopSpot video, who filmed the entire conference, we’ve finally got the clip, and it’s a must see. (His speech begins at about 32 seconds.)
Maynard’s big moment came during the conferences last panel, Defending The Internet. With panelists including Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian; Derek Slater, policy analyst at Google; Stanford lecturer Elizabeth Stark; and Tiff Cheng, cofounder of Fight for the Future, it’s fair to say the opinions skewed left.
But Maynard, who called himself a “a poster child for ‘made-by-the Internet’” but professed to be a conservative and “damn proud of it,” said Internet defenders have to forget about political differences. They have “stick to the issues,” he said.
“I’ve heard a lot of the usual anti-corporate rhetoric and leftist thought,” Maynard said. “In order to keep everybody's paws off the internet you have to make the tea party and the conservative people understand this is going to affect them too. It’s going to shut down Rush Limbaugh as much as it’s going to shut down Occupy [Wall Street].
“It’s easy to explain why things are bad and why they will affect everybody and not just the left … but stick to the issues and how it’s going to affect everybody. Or as [Derek Slater] says, it’s going down.”
Maynard, a popular attendee at the conference just about every year, became an Internet star after releasing photos of his homemade Tron suit, which got picked up at places like Fark and Slashdot in 2004.
Maynard’s day job is a computer programmer, but we suggest the Internet him as official spokesperson. We’d love to see him book a guest spot on Hannity and talk about CISPA.