Disguised as an Internet security bill, CISPA short-circuits the 4th amendment by allowing the government access to your private online data without a warrant. No due process, you know that thing our Founding Fathers wrote into the core DNA of America! The controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) recently passed the U.S. House and is on the way to the Senate where it may find an uphill battle. Let’s hope so!
If CIPSA passes then tech companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter, including your ISP and cell service provider (like AT&T), can legally give vast amounts of personal data to the U.S. government and its law enforcement — for whatever purpose it deems necessary — and face no legal retaliation.
This means the government will have unrestrained access to read your emails, access your bank accounts, and review you health records without you even knowing. And the privacy agreements with your ISP become legally void because CISPA shields big business from any legal recourse for sharing your private data. Furthermore, businesses will get assistance from the NSA (National Security Agency) with online security. This equates to a government subsidy allowing many companies to reduce security expenses thus increasing their profits at tax payer expense.
So CISPA gives government “Big Brother” access, big business solid legal protection plus government subsidies for online security expenses, and “we the people” get screwed by having our 4th amendment rights shredded.
If you are feeling a sense of digital deja vu, it’s because CISPA was spawned from equally bad bills from early 2012 called SOPA/PIPA. These bills passed the House. But after an online grassroots uprising, it failed the Senate. Now it has been resurrected in the current incarnation of CISPA with the same underlying fallacy – that online security requires violating personal privacy rights. However, most experts not under the monetary influence of big business lobby groups agree that sacrificing privacy is not required for improving online security.
Here’s more info on SOPA/PIPA:
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The people who were ready to take up arms to protect their 2nd amendment to bear arms should be really pissed about this. And you would think a Congress that was so adamant to protect the 2nd would be as diligent to protect the entire Bill of Rights. But rights seem to considered collateral damage when weighted against the profits of big business and the “Big Brother” appetite for personal intelligence.
The hacker group Anonymous has called for a voluntary 24 hour Internet blackout on April 22, 2013 (Monday). This is similar to the 2012 protest of SOPA/PIPA that shined a light on these bills and led to their demise. Many notable websites, including Wikipedia, voluntary went offline displaying a single page protesting SOPA/PIPA. Many believe this self-imposed blackout shined a light on SOPA/PIPA that had otherwise been living in the shadows. It remains to be seen if this year’s online protest will have the same impact.
The glimmer of hope for privacy advocates is that CISPA could face the same fate as its big brother legislation SOPA/PIPA – it could die in the Senate. It also faces a possible veto from President Obama.
Let’s hope CIPPA will fade away and in doing so send a message to the power-at-be:
Do not sacrifice privacy under the false pretense of Internet security.
You Can Help Stop CISPA and save the Internet! Here are some online resources that can help you contact your congressman:
- For the US House, go to http://www.house.gov and plug in your ZIP code in the top right to find out your district and representative.
- For the US Senate, go to http://www.senate.gov and find your state in the top right.
For more info on CIPPA and the April 24, 2013 online blackout: