Friday, April 20, 2012

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)

We all have heard of the SOPA bill that was proposed in January, and we know about the blackouts on certain websites that stood to protest the proposed bill. However, we have not heard much about the new attempt at regulating the internet. The CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) bill is being proposed as a form of "tracking the nefarious activities of hackers, terrorists and foreign states" (The Guardian). Although the bill may sound like it is for regulating hackers and online terrorists, it is written with loose language that allows these forms of regulation to be used on the everyday citizen. This bill will allow for the government to demand private information from web companies about users for "security purposes". Many argue that these are forms of surveillance or tapping. Ultimately the language in the bill allows for the government to conduct searches on people without search warrants. The EFF has explained their main concerns with the bill stating that:

"• First, there is a lack of any standard for the type of information that can be collected.
• Second, all the information will go to the national security agency, the US defense department's online intelligence arm. In 2010, the NSA was found guilty of conducting surveillance programmes without warrants.
• Third, there is no clarity in the bill as to what the information will be used for. "It should be used for cybersecurity purposes only, but the bill doesn't say that," Reitman said." (The Guardian)

Many people who know about the bill have voiced their concerns for it, however, this bill has been doing a good job at flying under the radar, not getting nearly as much attention as SOPA. I found it particularly interesting that upon searching the title of the bill in the Google search engine many of the discussions on the bill were discussions by news organizations from other countries or tech websites, but nothing from any major news channels here in the US. This bill could bring many changes to the way in which our information is used on the internet and yet there is very little coverage of it with major news organizations.
There is a video clip for whoever would like to explore it a little more on the RT.

1 comment:

  1. This is certainly an important piece of legislation, and government surveillance of Internet use is an issue in many places for citizen journalists who value anonymity and privacy. Several UCSD professors actually discussed this piece of legislation, which ultimately passed, at a recent International House panel discussion for Prospect magazine. I might recommend looking at the work of Internet privacy experts, such as the ones in my blogroll at Virtualpolitik, so that you give the reader more than one source for reference. (Even if The Guardian has certainly played an important role in digital journalism of late.)