Friedersdorf describes how the Bush administration engaged in illegal wiretapping for years, yet no NSA officials have been prosecuted under the Obama administration. NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake has been “prosecuted by both the Bush and the Obama Administrations” after raising complaints about a separate warrantless surveillance project.
While acknowledging the real dangers of a cyberattack, Rep, Joe L. Barton, a Republican from Texas pointed out that “the absence of explicit privacy protections for individuals is, to me, a greater threat to democracy and liberty than the cyberthreats that face America.” CISPA wants to “strike a balance” between allowing “government access to potentially sensitive information without making citizens vulnerable to dangerous abuses.” But in trying to provide such access to information, CISPA fails to adequately protect the rights of private users.
Describing CISPA as “horrible,” ACLU legislative counsel Michelle Richardson said in Ars Technica: “Cybersecurity does not have to mean abdication of Americans’ online privacy. As we’ve seen repeatedly, once the government gets expansive national security authorities, there’s no going back.” The ACLU pointed out that amendments would have only put the “veneer of privacy protections” on the bill and that the problem is CISPA in its current form itself.
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