Sunday, April 29, 2012

Waiving Every Single Privacy Law Ever Enacted in the Name of Cybersecurity

In spite of protest from the Obama administration - we know how that goes - the House of Representatives approved the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) one day ahead of schedule. This controversial bill will give the government additional levers to monitor the Internet.

Once again, unnecessarily broad definitions, and its potential to waive every single privacy law ever enacted in the name of cybersecurity makes CISPA a very controversial bill. It would give the government the ability to circumvent internet privacy laws, obtaining information on users from private companies – providers, hosting companies or social networks – or any company involved in the Internet.

Q: Is CISPA worse than SOPA?

For all its flaws, SOPA targeted primarily overseas Web sites, not domestic ones. It would have allowed the U.S. attorney general to seek a court order against the targeted offshore Web site that would, in turn, be served on Internet providers in an effort to make the target virtually disappear.

It was kind of an Internet death penalty targeting Web sites like ThePirateBay.org, not sites like YouTube.com, which are already subject to U.S. law.

CISPA, by contrast, would allow Americans' personal information to be vacuumed up by government agencies for cybersecurity and law enforcement purposes, as long as Internet and telecommunications companies agreed. In that respect, at least, its impact is broader.

Homeland Security Internet monitoring dropped from CISPA

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