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If you thought SOPA and PIPA were bad, wait until you get a load of CISPA

by The Big E on April 11, 2012

If you thought efforts to control and censor the internet were done after the resounding defeat of the Software Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) … well … I know a guy who can sell you a bridge in NYC.

SOPA and PIPA would have allowed any multi-national corporation to block any site they deemed a pirate by claiming so in court. The wording of the legislation was so vague that virtually any site could be shut down for virtually any kind of perceived intellectual property violation. An overwhelmingly negative response from the public killed the bills.

But censorship is back with a new and improved version:

Here’s their next move: The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, would obliterate any semblance of online privacy in the United States.  It’s up for a vote later this month.

CISPA would provide a victory for content owners who were shell-shocked by the unprecedented outpouring of activism in opposition to SOPA and Internet censorship.

SOPA was pushed as a remedy to the supposed economic threat of online piracy — but economic fear-mongering didn’t quite do the trick, so those concerned about copyright are engaging in sleight of hand, appending their legislation to a bill that most Americans will assume is about keeping them safe from bad guys.  

This so-called cyber security bill aims to prevent theft of “government information” and “intellectual property” and could let ISPs block your access to websites — or the whole Internet.

CISPA also encourages companies to share information about you with the government and other corporations.  That data could then be used for just about anything — from prosecuting crimes to ad placements.  And perhaps worst of all, CISPA supercedes all existing online privacy protections.

Here are the concerns over CISPA:

  • CISPA has a very broad, almost unlimited definition of the information that can be shared with government agencies and it supersedes all other privacy laws.
  • CISPA is likely to lead to expansion of the government’s role in the monitoring of private communications.
  • CISPA is likely to shift control of government cybersecurity efforts from civilian agencies to the military.
  • Once the information is shared with the government, it wouldn’t have to be used for cybersecurity, but could instead be used for other purposes.

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