CISPA: more heinous than SOPA, and it just passed

Summary:There's still time to take this bill down. Read, learn, and then let your Congress-Critters know that, once again, We The Internet will not stand for these assaults on our rights.

I haven't had much time to talk about the so-called cybersecurity bill called CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) because I've actually been working on a very in-depth cyberdefense project that I can't yet discuss publicly for clients who, you guessed it, I can't discuss publicly.

Even so, I wanted to take a moment to share some disturbing breaking news.

According to TechDirt, a site I quite respect, CISPA just passed the House in a rushed vote, with some amendments that TechDirt claims pretty much, well, here, read it for yourself:

The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a "cybersecurity crime". Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all

Now, I haven't sat down and read the entire bill as revised and just passed by the House, but I will. You should, too. Here's the PDF to the bill, directly from the House's mouth (PDF).

Here's our own Violet Blue's take on the situation:

See also: How SOPA protests were used to push CISPA

CISPA now needs to make it through the normal bill process (which means there will be some Senate version, and if that passes, some reconciled version) and then, if all that survives, it will still have to be signed into law by the President.

President Obama has already stated that if this bill cross his desk, he'll veto it.

Even so, the battle for our rights isn't over. As I told you a few months ago, in 5 reasons why SOPA, PROTECT-IP and other legislative idiocy will never die, these attacks against our fundamental rights by our own legislators will continue as long as there are lobbyists around and politicians with more interest in their careers than in patriotism.

Let me be clear: there is a terrible need for better cybersecurity, but a bill like this isn't going to protect America. Rather, it will hurt Americans. These bills (CISPA, SOPA, PIPA, and the like), will continue to crop up like weeds.

The fact that this thing passed in a rush session by the House, a body that normally can't agree on much of anything, is an indicator that the only way we're going to keep our freedoms in the digital world is if we remain diligent.

There's still time to take this bill down. Read, learn, and then let your Congress-Critters know that, once again, We The Internet will not stand for these assaults on our rights.

Topics: Security


In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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