CISPA Claws Back to Life

It's baa-aaack.

The House cybersecurity bill that allows the National Security Agency (NSA) and the military to collect your private internet records is scheduled for an encore appearance on Wednesday. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) will reintroduce the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which news reports say will be the same bill that passed the House of Representatives last year.

That's right, the same bill that allows companies to turn over your sensitive internet records directly to the NSA and the Department of Defense without requiring them to make even a reasonable effort to protect your privacy. The same bill that lets the government use the information it collects for cybersecurity purposes "to protect the national security of the United States"—a concept that is, of course, undefined and incredibly expansive. Here we are, ten months later, with a much-deserved veto threat from the administration, a smarter Senate alternative, and an Executive Order that will address part of the information-sharing issue—yet the House starts with the same old privacy-busting bill as before.

Because of your activism last year, big and important changes were made to the Senate cyber bill, including significant privacy protections. Let's do it again House-side. If the House wants smart cyber legislation that also protects privacy, it needs to ensure that the programs are civilian-led, minimize the sharing of sensitive personal information between government and corporations, and protect collected information from non-cyber uses.

So bone up on what CISPA does, see the many organizations from left to right who have opposed CISPA, compare it to the far better legislation in the Senate, and read why even the Obama administration threatened to veto this bill last year. And get ready to fight for your right to online privacy once again.

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It just won't stay dead!

faisal khawaja

my comment is going to shock even those who r aware of the torture by the cia !!!! my brother monsoor khawaja was tortured and died in 2007 !!!!! i have been persecuted by the state and the church !!!! for the past 11 years or maybe even before that !!!! i am an american and a citizen of the united states for a very long time now !!! i was underage when my parents became citizens !!! any how !! i can prove all the things that have taken place and i tried many times to contact the fbi and file a complaint !!!! but they act like if they dont pay attention to me and my case it would go away !!!! this is not going away this easy!!!


Didn't Ben Franklin said something about giving up freedom for a bit of security?


Where do I sign the "screw CISPA" petition? I'll say it once and I'll say it again: I refuse to continue living if this bill passes. I'll move or I'll die, but I will not live in a place where my privacy is so grossly violated.


Protecting information is what a security bill needs to be about. Not making our computing systems less secure and open to perusal by any government scrub. What we need is even more privacy than we have now. It is a flawed way of thinking to suggest that organizations like the FBI or NSA are perfect moral agents having no persons in them that would EVER miss use the information gathered. For example, how do you prosecute someone who discovers a new technology or development or research when investigating a company or persons within that company and then goes on to sell this information to another company for $$$. It would be hard to prosecute a person within a government organization like these that could hypothetically do this. Furthermore these kinds of technologies could be sold to companies outside of the USA. What will stop this kind of thing happening? Nothing. Information is power. The people voting yes on these bills will profit and its no surprise that the majority are Republican. Its also interesting to note that the organizations like the ACM and EFF are against it and companies like Apple Computer are for it.
Keep our secrets secret.

Anthony F.

Of course, there is a need to protect America's critical infrastructure and the personal information of internet users on private company networks. But whenever legislation is introduced to provide for greater security, one always has to ask what will be the impact on civil liberties. As currently written, CISPA seems to upset the balance between security and liberty. An example: it allows the government to use shared cyber threat information to protect individuals from bodily harm, minors from exploitation, and national security (an ambiguous term.) But this authorization makes clear that information other than basic computer information (malware code, IP addresses, etc.), which one assumes is meant by cyber threat information, is going to be shared with the government. Another example: it prohibits the government from using shared information from library records, firearm sales records, medical records, etc. But this prohibition suggests that the government may come into possession of these records, which seemingly have no direct relation to cyber threat information. Shoring up America's defenses against cyber threats is a noble goal, but it shouldn't come at the expense of civil liberties, especially privacy.
Anthony F.

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