Cyber Intelligence Sharing And Protection Act

2266 words - 9 pages

The Stop Online Piracy Act was proposed in January of 2012. SOPA was a legislative act that attempted to prevent piracy through DNS blocking and censorship. The legislation caused the protest and blackout of multiple online internet services including Reddit, 4Chan, Google, Wikipedia, Mozilla, and Tumblr. Now, internet users are faced with another possible challenge called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA. CISPA was quickly passed by the House of Representatives on April 26th, 2012, and is now being processed through the Senate (Beadon). CISPA's purpose is to promote national cybersecurity through allowing private companies and the federal government to exchange users' private information, including emails and text messages, with complete legal immunity and one hundred percent anonymity. To some, CISPA appears as SOPA 2.0, another attempt to further limit American rights and privacy. Meanwhile, to others, CISPA appears as a milestone that needs to be reached in order to advance technologically and improve the nation's security. CISPA's purpose appears noble, but the current version of the legislation at least requires a revision due to its privacy invading policies, vague terminology, possible restrictions of internet freedom, and violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Many people, including some business leaders such as Reddit's and Mozilla's founders, are disappointed with the flawed form that CISPA possessed when it was rushed through the House of Representatives. In an interview with CNN on May 7th, 2012, Alexis Ohanian, the CEO of Reddit, stated that he refuses to purchase Facebook's stock because of its support for CISPA (Greenberg). In addition, CISPA puts the people's privacy at significant risk because the legislation will be able to overpower any foundational privacy laws. Two especially noticeable laws are the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The Wiretap Act prohibits the government from intentional interception, use, or disclosure of wire and electronic communications without a warrant. Similarly, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act protects wire, oral, and electronic communications while in transit (Franklin). Some may wonder how the government is able to override such laws that come to make America what it is today, a nation noted for its religious and intellectual freedom, and the answer is national security. Anything is possible in order to increase national security and eliminate any threats.
Not to mention that as long as participants of CISPA exchange information with good intentions, they will not be held to any criminal or civil liabilities and become one hundred percent anonymous in the process (PopVox). This may incentivize private companies to release users' information without a thought regarding the authenticity of the threat due to convenience. After information is shared with the federal government, the data is stored and is able to be used for any purpose...

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