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CISPA Passes the House: Why We Should Be Wary, If Not Worried

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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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48 comments

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10:30PM PDT on Sep 30, 2013

And most americans could care less about their loss.of privacy

1:36AM PDT on Apr 21, 2013

This is BIG DADDY gone mad. There is no doubt that this is more than the thin edge of the wedge towards domination of the populace by government. The moves against the phasing out of money in favour of electronic payments, coupled with legislation like this, means the end of ALL privacy in favour of those making the laws. Individual citizen's private affairs will be totally open to whoever makes use of the powers granted under this law and people will be cowed into submission because of draconian threats made in the interests of those in control. There can never be adequate protection against this invasion of privacy, whatever the claims to the contrary. The inherent threats to freedom of thought, action and indeed, daily living, far outweigh any national threat that is postulated as evidence for its introduction. It will give the perpetrators the power and the means to influence the whole public domain, from the judiciary, through national government appointees to those representing one at local government levels. THINK ABOUT it people. This is the greatest threat to civilization that has yet risen and we ignore it at our peril. Already there is an unholy alliance between the banking fraternity, government and global business which is contributing inexorably to the domination of capital and effectively the population. There is so much regulation in place that ties people into complying with legal requirements, that there is no time left for the concept of family life and

10:39PM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

Very distressing!

1:05PM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

I agree with Lin P. Looks as tho we are still pushing that rock up the hill. Appears my dialing finger will be receiving some exercise.....

11:37AM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

206 Reps voted for this bill plus 42 democrats. Who are they? We need their names!!

4:33AM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

Monday is designated as Internet Blackout Day. Stay off internet unless work related in protest.

1:56PM PDT on May 9, 2012

Thanks for the heads up.

3:07PM PDT on May 6, 2012

i think it's obvious that 'national security' is not the goal of this bill.

2:46PM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

Republicans are complete whores!

Thom's blog
Could CISPA be worse than SOPA?

Microsoft is now rethinking its support for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act - better known as CISPA - which passed out of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives last week. CISPA allows for the sharing of information between the government and private online companies to stop possible cyber security threats. But since the bill is overly-broad on what exactly is a "cyber security threat" - there's real concern that the bill could lead to egregious violations of online privacy.

In fact - some critics of the bill say that the consequences of CISPA could be worse than SOPA. Microsoft - which originally supported CISPA - is backing off now until lawmakers pass additional safeguards to protect online privacy. President Obama raised the same concerns over the bill when he threatened to veto it last week. The irony here is shocking.

When Progressives proposed net neutrality to prevent major Internet corporations from carving up the Internet and screwing over consumers - Republicans lined up against it calling it a government takeover of the Internet. But when it comes to giving those same corporations the power to share your personal information with the government - Republicans line up in support. Yes, Conservatives side with big corporations over working people even in cyber space.

-Thom

7:32PM PDT on Apr 29, 2012

If CISPA would find, ban and prosecute those promoting child porn, animal porn/abuse and violence against women and the earth, I would applaud it. Otherwise, it just comes down to another weapon of human cultures and countries to use against each other to no good ends.

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