The fact that the CISPA bill has passed the House of Representatives has the internet abuzz with activity. While many people remember the SOPA and PIPA issues from times a few months back, this is a new rendition on an old theme.
Lots of sites have spoken out against CISPA and the issues that it could potentially cause: from Chris Richardson at Web Pro News to creative individuals at Zero Hedge to the greats at Microsoft, who originally supported the bill but withdrew support over privacy issues.
For those who are unaware, this bill has been sponsored by Ben Quayle, Mike Thompson, and Anna Eschoo. Of course, like most bills, the parameters it covers are lengthy, but here are the general points:
Would limit government use of shared cyber threat information to only 5 purposes:
2. investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crimes;
3. protection of individuals from the danger of death or physical injury;
4. protection of minors from physical or psychological harm; and
5. protection of the national security of the United States.
This part of CISPA was designed to limit the scope of the bill, but many critics say the vagueness of the amendment is troubling. The critics say that if any internet activity is seen as vaguely suspicious as the government, CISPA would give interested government parties the ability to rifle through information without a search warrant or any other search and seizure protections that are offered by the Fourth Amendment.
So What Does it Mean?
As of this point, it’s hard to tell how CISPA will change the fact of the internet as we know it. Unlike previous efforts to regulate the sharing of information, CISPA focuses more on “suspicion,” so many believe that so long as you are not doing anything that the government deems “suspicious,” you should be fine.
The trouble with this particular bill is that it does give the government an unprecedented ability to dig into your personal communications.
What is especially curious about this particular development is how little outrage there has been on various social media sites. Many are wondering if Wikipedia blackouts – and many other major sites that shut down in protest of SOPA and PIPA – are the only way to get the attention of the internet-surfing masses.
For those who are wondering what the big deal is, listen up – while SOPA and PIPA were generally aimed toward internationally-based internet activity, CISPA is more about domestic internet use. CISPA would allow the government to seek personal information on those who the government thought were “troublesome,” which is what is rankling the hackles of many who are against this particular bill.
What we at Content Equals Money are curious about is what you think about this bill – do you believe that CISPA will help the government be able to regulate the internet in a positive and helpful way, or do you think that it will cause harm in the long run?
While the bill was passed by the House of Representatives, it has yet to go through the Senate, and President Obama has recently sworn that he will veto CISPA if it manages to get through both branches of the legislature. Do you agree, or do you think that CISPA or a bill like it is needed in order to help the government track criminals and terrorists?