I think we all remember the raising of awareness and protest against the cyber-oriented bills, SOPA and PIPA were going on or maybe even ACTA if you kept up with the news. If not then you probably remember not being able to rip-off your homework form Wikipedia earlier this year.
This time CISPA, or the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, takes the reins as another vaguely worded cyber bill that can quickly veer off its intended path and completely demolish our civil liberties. The sad thing about this is that CISPA has already passed in the House and is on its way to the Senate.
According to Alternet.org, “Congress is seriously considering a bill called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). Intended to allow information-sharing both between corporations and between corporations and the government, it presents serious dangers to individual privacy. The most important parts of the proposed act permit corporations to share information about their customers with each other and with the government if they assert that this information-sharing is necessary for national security…”
Right now, the ACLU notes, “[h]ealth records, gun records, tax records, census data, educational records – essentially all information now protected under privacy laws carefully considered and passed by Congress over the past decades –would no longer have that protection as cyber security information if these bills are to become law.”
CISPA would allow companies to share all their customer data with each other in ways that would definitely against current laws that protect everyone’s privacy, such as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). CISPA could allow the government to require companies to share everyone’s data without a subpoena or a warrant which is currently against the law to do. Our privacy rights would be violated and they could go on squashing our rights without substantial evidence that they pose any kind of security threat.
Past bills have threatened our freedom of speech but CISPA still ranks high with the nation’s population as one of the bills that could potentially destroy in privacy or civil liberties that we had before, and like the passing of ACTA, CISPA has sort of snuck up behind us and stabbed us in the back as it passed in the House on Thursday, April 26. It’s ridiculous that all of this has even happened, but hopefully enough attention to this issue and all the signatures signed against this bill will stop CISPA in its tracks.