Here we go again. Today the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted to recommend H.R. 624, the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2013,” or CISPA, to the entire House for approval. The bill supposedly enables only a “sharing” of “anonymous cyber threat information between the government and the private sector so they can protect their networks and their customers’ private information.” But it’s basically the same bill as last year’s, when groups from all points of view, from Tea Party groups to the ACLU, objected to the lack of protection for personally identifiable information and other violations of our internet privacy.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently released a laundry list of problems with the bill. Here are the highlights:
(1) The bill supposedly limits exposure to only “cyber threat information.” But the definition of that term doesn’t exclude personally identifiable information. Social Security numbers are “cyber threat information” in the wrong hands. Private emails are too – is that what you want your cable company to turn over to the Feds? If you tell your relatives that Obama is a socialist, will Comcast or Verizon turn it over to the FBI? You up for that?
(2) The bill doesn’t define “cybersecurity systems” either. Companies can use a “cybersecurity system” to “identify or obtain” information about a potential threat, but the term isn’t limited to security software or intrusion systems; the term “system” is never defined. No privacy protection there.
(3) CISPA encourages companies to conduct their own surveillance on their networks and turn over whatever they deem “cyber threat information” to the government, with a promise of total immunity from civil or criminal lawsuits. So it strips the utilities, internet and telecom companies of any accountability and allows them to create a private spying program. CISPA strips us of our constitutional right to hold those companies accountable for turning over our personal information, whether by design or error.
House GOP leaders went through this exercise last year, only to find The People standing in the way. But they haven’t learned. They’re about to let the same wild-and-crazy gun-control liberals, like Obama, Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein, effective control over our private data and emails. DiFi has her own CISPA ready to go. WHAT ARE BOEHNER AND CANTOR THINKING?
Tell your Congressman and Senator NO, TODAY, and that YOU will personally hold THEM accountable for messing with our internet and our privacy. Tell them to give up on this year’s version of CISPA.