Lawmakers Trying to Pass CISPA Again
Posted: April 15, 2013 by Alex Chan
Back in November 2011, a U.S. Representative Michael Rogers introduced the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act – CISPA. The bill was passed in the House of Representatives during 2012, but the U.S. Senate did not vote it in. The White House openly stated it was breaching civil liberties and it would veto it. One year later, CISPA is knocking on the US door again.
The controversial bill, if passed into a law, would allow private companies and the government share information for the sake of National Security. This means that the law will allow the government to ask any information it thinks necessary to protect the country from computer threats and intrusions. In the same time however, the law will not be able to stop the government in taking a quick peak into someone's online activities. We already know based on Google's fight with NSL letters that this is something we do not want at all. Michael Rogers is not looking out for our best interests regardless of how much he tweets into anti-CISPA threads.
According to many activists, CISPA goes beyond any reasons and destroys the well-known American right to privacy. Many organizations and activists have started working on a campaign against CISPA. Their goal is to raise public awareness and have people sign petitions against the bill. Many activists are hoping to reach the success they had with the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) last year. Raising the public awareness is only the first part. Many activists are also reaching out to Internet-based companies, in hope they would publicly stand against the bill. So far, the number has reached 30,000 and it is still rising. Facebook, Reddit, Mozilla and many many more have joined the fight against CISPA. We also support the anti-CISPA movement.
Even with the public being against it, the members of the House of Representatives are planning to hold a new markup session regarding the bill. They will discuss the bill again and give amendments on it. After discussion, the bill will once again be put in for a vote.
Many activists believe this to be very wrong, as the public has the right to know and become aware of certain amendments that concern civil liberties. Many are asking to make the bill transparent and open to the public for genuine remarks and comments.
Besides the global support of regular citizens and companies, the activists may lose this war as many pro-CISPA groups are spending a lot of money to get the bill passed into a law. Just as a fact, in the last two years, pro-CISPA groups paid an astonishing $55 million, while the anti-CISPA lobby gave a mere $4 million to the members of the House of Representatives. Will the battle be won through reason and conscience or through deeper pockets? We have to wait and see.
For more information, and to help fight for our privacy, take a look at the FIGHT CISPA page.