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Move over SOPA & PIPA: Here comes CISPA — Internet censorship

In the wake of SOPA and PIPA, there is yet another terrifying bill on
the table. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA
for short) which is currently being discussed by Congress.

In Washington, Congress is discussing the best way
to avert the ongoing cyberattacks and some legislators have put forward a
new act which, if it passes Congress, will allow the government access
to personal correspondence of any person of their choosing.

Much like the Big Brother tactics in the United Kingdom
recently, this bill will likely cause an outcry of condemnation and
criticism, as happened with the deceased SOPA and PIPA bills.

The title of this controversial act is H.R. 3523 and it has been dubbed
the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA for short).
It is feared that CISPA is far worse than SOPA and PIPA in its possible
effects on the Internet.

While this paper has been created under the guise of being a necessary
weapon in the U.S. war against cyberattacks, the wording of the paper is
vague and broad. It is thought that the act could allow Congress to
circumvent existing exemptions to online privacy laws and would allow
the monitoring and censorship of any user and also stop online
communications which they deem disruptive to the government or to
private parties.

Critics say that CISPA would give any federal entity that claims it is
threatened by online interactions the ability to take action against the
"perpetrator". Unlike the SOPA and PIPA acts which were eventually
discarded after a successful online campaign, widespread recognition of
what the latest proposed law will do has yet to surface to the same

Kendall Burman of the Center for Democracy and Technology tells RT:

“We have a number of concerns with something like this bill that creates
sort of a vast hole in the privacy law to allow government to receive
these kinds of information.”

She states that the bill, as it stands, allows the U.S. government to
involve itself in any online correspondence if it believes there is
reason to suspect cyber crime.

As with other recent attempts at Internet censorship that have been
discussed in Congress, the wording within the CISPA allows the
government to interpret the law so broadly, that any online
communication or interaction could then be suspect, and monitored
without the knowledge of the parties concerned.

in a press release last month warned that CISPA allows Internet Service
Providers to “funnel private communications and related information
back to the government without adequate privacy protections and
controls. The bill does not specify which agencies ISPs could disclose
customer data to, but the structure and incentives in the bill raise a
very real possibility that the National Security Agency or the DOD’s
Cybercommand would be the primary recipient.”

CISPA has also been condemned by the Electronic Frontier Foundation,
an online advocacy group. They say that “It effectively creates a
‘cybersecurity'’ exemption to all existing laws. There are almost no
restrictions on what can be collected and how it can be used, provided a
company can claim it was motivated by ‘cybersecurity purposes'.”

According to both CDT and EFF, this means some of the largest
corporations in the country, including online service providers like
Google, Twitter, Facebook or AT&T could, if pressured, copy
confidential information from a user and send this information to the
Pentagon, as long as the government believes there is a reason to
suspect wrongdoing.

According to the authors of CISPA, this bill has been made “To provide
for the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat
information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity
entities.” They also state: “and for other purposes,” which is broad
and rather undefined.

In the video Kendall Burman of the Center for Democracy and Technology
tells RT: “Cyber security, when done right and done narrowly, could
benefit everyone. But it needs to be done in an incremental way with a
narrow approach, and the heavy hand that lawmakers are taking with these
current bills . . . it brings real serious concerns.”

At today's date CISPA has the support of over 100 representatives in the
House, who favor the cybersecurity legislation, but do not take into
account what it can do to the everyday Internet user.

While there are no major protests as yet, as happened with SOPA and
PIPA, Burman feels it will only be a matter of time before concerned
Americans demand to have their say in the matter.

“One of the lessons we learned in the reaction to SOPA and PIPA is that
when Congress tries to legislate on things that are going to affect
Internet users’ experience, the Internet users are going to pay
attention,” says Burman. She adds that H.R. 3523 “Definitely could
affect in a very serious way the Internet experience.”

She does add that “People are starting to notice.”

However, given the speed that this latest bill could be snuck through in
Congress, anyone concerned over the future of the free Internet should
be on the look out.

On a similar vein, RT has released the following video about the
hypocrisy of the U.S. Government in relation to Internet freedoms:

Read more:

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Added: Apr-6-2012 Occurred On: Apr-6-2012
By: dcmfox
World News
Tags: SOPA, PIPA, Here, comes, CISPA, Internet, censorship
Views: 2307 | Comments: 14 | Votes: 2 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 5 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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