Apr 19, 2012

CISPA: More Efforts To Threaten On-Line Freedoms

Here we go again.

I try to limit the number of activist posts on this blog to those that I feel directly affect this blog's followers; who wants to read a constant series of protest rants? Not me, that's for sure.

But, every so often a threat to our Internet freedoms comes along that is so overly broad and just so repugnant that I feel it's my duty to let you know what is happening, and how it will affect you, whether you know it or not.

Like my posts about SOPA and PIPA, I'm raising the alarm about the newest threat to our free speech: CISPA (I know, alphabet soup...I don't like it either, trust me).

CISPA stands for The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, a cybersecurity bill allows companies and the federal government to share information to prevent or defend from  cyberattacks. However, the bill also authorizes monitoring of our private communications, and is written so broadly that it allows companies to hand over large amounts of personal information to the government with no judicial oversight—effectively creating a huge loophole in all existing privacy laws.  

In a nutshell, CISPA would:  
  • allow a private company to read all of your e-mails
  • allow the government to read all of your e-mails
  • allow your Internet service provider to hand over your communications to the government without your consent or knowledge
  • prevent you from suing a company for invading your privacy or sharing your information
  • allow the government to keep and use your information for whatever purpose it wants
Is this what's good for the Internet and its users? I think not.

It won't take much time or effort to make your voice heard. Please do: this is important. The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has made it easy to register your objections to this awful legislation. Below are some links. The more voices that are raised in opposition, the more hope we have of killing this terrible legislation (just like we did with SOPA and PIPA).
The video below asks a larger question: copyright exists to "promote the useful arts" according to the Constitution. But is it still doing that? And should the government protect so-called "intellectual property" in the same way it protects other forms of property?

 If you steal a car, the owner no longer has that car. If you download a movie, the studio still has its movie, although it is not making as much money as it would like. Regardless of whether you think downloading movies is wrong or not, is it the same as theft, in the true sense of the word?

This is an interesting debate about this divisive issue.

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