If you are eligible to vote in the United States, please take a break from whatever you're doing today and call your member of the US House of Representatives. Tell the staff member who answers the phone that you value your privacy. And tell him or her that you are deeply unhappy that the House seems poised to destroy everyone's online – and by extension offline – privacy by passing the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Cispa) . . . [The bill] invites companies like internet service providers to share information so they can coordinate defenses.
Worthy ideas in the abstract, but horrible in the details: cyber-security is a genuine concern, as we've seen repeatedly. But this bill is easily the worst attack on the open internet since the infamous Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa), an online censorship bill that was killed in the wake of widespread opposition early last year. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Mark Jaycox put it in an open forum on Reddit last week, here are some of Cispa's consequences:
Companies have new rights to monitor user actions and share data – including potentially sensitive user data – with the government without a warrant.
Cispa overrides existing privacy law, and grants broad immunities to participating companies.Information provided to the federal government under Cispa would be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other state laws that could otherwise require disclosure (unless some law other than Cispa already requires its provision to the government).Cispa's authors argue that the bill contains limitations on how the federal government can use and disclose information by permitting lawsuits against the government. But if a company sends information about a user that is not cyberthreat information, the government agency does not notify the user, only the company.
CISPA: The Government's War on Privacy Continues
From The Guardian: