It’s not bad enough that citizens of the Internet have to deal with new technology, new standards and new fires dodge everyday; but it seems lately the archenemy of the Internet is going to be censorship.
Governments seem to think that the Internet has been unregulated for too long and it’s time that the dimwitted mines of the world, but have no idea how the Internet works, need to put restrictions on what the Internet can and can’t do.
Everyone was aware that the US House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) this week [Friday / 4/27/2012], but because of other bills that were strongly opposed, such as SOPA/PIPA and ACTA, the U.S. Congress decided to sneak in a few additional amendments and then pass the bill in haste. It’s pretty obvious that Congress was trying to avoid the cyber backlash of Internet citizens that believe snooping/censorship of the Internet, of any kind, should not be permitted.
The Internet is a wealth of information. It covers a gambit of topics— anything you can think of; there’s a blog or an article on the Internet that can give you information on just about anything that your mind can think of; if not already a video…Putting restrictions on the Internet isn’t the way to go. Information should be open to everyone to learn and share; that’s what makes the Internet so powerful.
Trying to snoop/censor the Internet is morally wrong…
The idea behind CISPA is to try to protect America’s interests by allowing any private company, such as Facebook, YouTube, Google or any other large name social website; it’s limitless. But CISPA would allow these companies to freely give away any and all data it has ascertained about you to any government agency, and then eventually handed off to the Department of Homeland Security. And the problem with proposed legislation like this, it’s all about how the bills are worded and structured. The verbiage of the bills that Congress has been trying to pass, all had the same problem; they’re too vague.
One of the interesting parts of the bill is that any company that has information on an Internet citizen that they think is a ‘cyber threat’, they need to turn that information over to the government. Trying to consider what a ‘cyber threat’ is, is right along the same lines as trying to figure out what is ‘offensive’. According to the bill, a ‘cyber threat’ is “…any effort to degrade, disrupt, or destroy government or private systems and networks.” That’s like saying if you make any changes using a keyboard, you could be punished— it’s all about how the act and information is perceived; perspective is everything. If the bill is loosely worded, everyone knows that lawyers will make that bill more far-reaching and impacting, that it was ever meant to be— and that’s the biggest problem…
In addition to the government giving these large corporations and companies the permission to turn over your private information, the bill also gives those entities complete immunity from doing so. That means you cannot sue or try to get justification from those entities that turnover your private information. The whole prospect of any government getting a company the power, the inclination and the immunity to simply turn over users private information and activities, simply because they deem something as a ‘cyber threat’ is ridiculous, it’s appalling and its offensive in nature.
And what’s more offensive and appalling is that the U.S. Congress stepped up the vote on CISPA simply to avoid the cyber-criticism of even thinking about passing a bill like this… They didn’t like how SOPA/PIPA came back to bite them so hard in the ass. And I’m sure they didn’t like the fact that the ACTA treaties are now being widely rejected.
The good news in all this seems to be that while Congress has passed bad legislation, by not representing the people, and pushing their own private agenda; Pres. Obama has already indicated that he’ll veto the bill if it’s presented to him— let’s hope he stays the course.
There are laws to get information about people, and there are processes to do that. The prospect that any private company or corporation can simply donate private information about a citizen to the government on the grounds of suspicious behavior, or a ‘cyber threat’ [loosely termed], is just a disgusting concept; it erodes any concept of privacy and endorses spying on others with no recourse. There’s reasons why we have due process, and due process should be required absolutely.
You can get more information about CISPA and get more involved efforts against CISPA at this website…
Larry Henry Jr.
…via Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11