CISPA IS BACK! Destroying Online Privacy
2013-02-21 0:00

By Steven Hsieh | RollingStone.com

Congress Is Trying to Kill Internet Privacy Again

House lawmakers have reintroduced a bill that civil liberties groups say would destroy the right to Internet privacy as we know it. An earlier version of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA (pdf), passed the House back in April 2012; it died quickly under threat of presidential veto and widespread protest from Internet activists. But this week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) and ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland) brought it back. What’s going on?

Ruppersberger argues that CISPA is necessary to fight a cyber-security threat that has expanded since last spring – alluding to recent Chinese hacking attacks on newspapers including The New York Times and Washington Post. "People ask me all the time, ’What keeps you up at night?’ And I say, ’Spicy Mexican food, weapons of mass destruction and cyber attacks,’" Ruppersberger tells Rolling Stone. "We have a serious problem. We’re trying to fix this problem."

But opponents from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) say that in practice, CISPA would give private companies and U.S. intelligence agencies the power to pass around Americans’ personal data with complete impunity – all in the name of "national security." "In one fell swoop, privacy laws no longer apply," Michelle Richardson, a legislative counsel for the ACLU, tells Rolling Stone.

Ruppersberger insists that he and Rogers worked hard on crafting CISPA provisions that will protect Americans from this kind of spying. "CISPA does not authorize the government to monitor your computer or read your emails, Tweets and Facebook," he says. "It’s clearly what the bill does not do."

Yet this conveniently ignores the part of CISPA which does give private companies the power to share our private emails, tweets and Facebook messages with the government – nullifying current privacy laws, which require companies to keep your private information, well, private.

Last time around, many tech companies overwhelmingly supported CISPA, from Internet service providers like Comcast and AT&T to Web giants like Google and Facebook. With corporations lining up for the right to share your private information without any threat of prosecution, Ruppersberger’s assurances are cold comfort.

As usual, the government is using national security concerns to justify the latest expansion of its powers. Rogers recently told CBS’s Bob Schieffer that he believes the nation has been too soft on cybersecurity, and information sharing is the best way forward: "The senior leadership in the intelligence community said that they think we can stop 90 percent of our problems just by sharing classified cyber threat information."

But it remains to be seen why U.S. intelligence needs our personal information to combat network breaches. Even NSA director Keith Alexander, while supporting CISPA, has acknowledged that ensuring cybersecurity "doesn’t require the government to read [Americans’] mail."

[...]

Read the full article at: rollingstone.com









Related Articles
Destroying Online Privacy: Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) Is Back
List Of Representatives Who Voted For CISPA (2012)
Mozilla Criticizes CISPA for Having Broad, Alarming Reach
Another Bait and Switch? Obama Opposes CISPA. Yeah, Right
Ron Paul: Corporations will ‘act as government spies’ under CISPA
SOPA mutates into much worse CISPA, the latest threat to internet free speech
Anonymous Message to United States Citizens [CISPA] 2013


Latest News from our Front Page

Fanning the Flames of Another Black Church Arson Hoax
2015-07-02 0:57
America is still reeling from the horrific Charleston, S.C., massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church that claimed the lives of nine innocent people. The last thing the community and our country need are hysterical journalists compounding the pain with inflammatory reporting on an unsubstantiated “epidemic” of black church arsons. On Monday, a Baltimore Sun lead editorial decried “a series of mysterious ...
Cold War Redux: Do you want to fight in World War Three?
2015-07-02 0:04
The rhetoric coming of Washington is pushing us dangerously close to a world changing scenario. In the following episode of CrossTalk, Peter Lavelle discusses the way Russia and Putin are being framed by Western governments and mainstream media with guests including Chris Hedges. The dangers of ignoring historical context when reporting ‘news’ is examined, along with the pure ‘imperial hubris’ of ...
Survey Says: 35 Percent of Americans Would Expatriate
2015-07-02 0:14
 As the Fourth of July weekend looms and Americans prep their grills and ready their fireworks, some citizens are packing their bags. A recent online poll of more than 2,000 adults by TransferWise, a peer-to-peer money transfer service based in the United Kingdom, revealed that 35 percent of American-born residents and emigrants would considering leaving the United States to live in ...
Greek crisis deepens as loan repayment deadline passes
2015-07-01 23:19
Greece's midnight deadline passed Tuesday for repaying $1.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund and other international creditors, deepening a financial crisis that threatens the Mediterranean nation's membership in the European Union. Despite an eleventh-hour effort by Greek lawmakers Tuesday to secure a new two-year debt deal before the deadline, European finance ministers reviewing Greece's proposal concluded their conference call without ...
Black Suspect Arrested After Racist Message Discovered Outside Predominately Black Church
2015-07-01 22:46
A Colorado Springs man was arrested after police believe he left racist messages outside a church. Vincent Broughton, 44, who is black, is facing charges for committed a bias-motivated crime and disorderly conduct. The signs were posted outside the New Covenant church that is predominately attended by African Americans. One sign references the KKK. Another reads, “Black men beware, you are the ...
More News »