Just when you think the tricky tricksters are done trying to take away our online freedom, they pop back up. We might need to start playing whack-a-mole again like we did during the anti-SOPA/PIPA days way back when in January — there’s a new law on the block aimed at restricting online rights. CISPA, everyone. Everyone, CISPA.
CNET reports on the new bit of potentially scary legislation, which goes by the name Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, and is up for a vote in two weeks. It has a lot of support already from companies like AT&T, Facebook, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Symantec, Verizon, and others, for a total of 28 companies.
The bill’s sponser, Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, says the bill is “nothing like SOPA,” but we’re not buying it.
According to CNET, the main aim of CISPA is to remove legal barriers that could keep Internet companies from giving all your communication and information to the government.
It allows “cyber entities” (such as Internet service providers, social networks like Facebook and cell phone companies like AT&T) to circumvent Internet privacy laws when they’re pressured by Homeland Security to hand over or shut down — well, almost anything of yours online that the government wants, no warrant needed.
Vague wording in the bill is another cause for concern, as it could potentially make it okay for the government to take extreme measures against sites like Wikileaks or anyone that publishes that kind of information, like the New York Times.
Rep. Rogers is working hard to convince the media that CISPA isn’t evil. He and the bill’s co-author recently called a press conference to talk to tech reporters, “Cyber Media and Cyber Bloggers,” to spin CISPA as unrelated to SOPA.
Nice try, buddy. We’re going to keep an eye on you.