Sunday, April 21, 2013

Why You Need to be Against CIPSA

Last week the U.S House of Representatives passed CIPSA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, for the second time (288-127) despite a veto threat from the president. You can read the whole list of those who voted for it here but it includes Luis Gutierrez and Mike Quigley, of the 4th and 5th districts in Illinois. Groups included in the coalition against CIPSA included the ACLU and the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF).

In the coalition's letter opposing it they used some of the White House's own talking points including this:
"[H.R. 3523 repeals] important provisions of electronic surveillance law without instituting corresponding privacy, confidentiality, and civil liberties safeguards. For example, the bill would allow broad sharing of information with governmental entities without establishing requirements for both industry and the Government to minimize and protect personally indentifiable information".

You can read the whole letter here.

Privacy, even in this age of Facebook, twitter, and the constant internet, is something we don't always think about past passwords and usernames. I think many people think, well I have nothing to hide, why does it matter? But do you really want the government-or corporations (trust me if one can have it the other probably can too) to know everything about you? To have all information to do what they want with it? In many ways, we have already given up a lot, the fact that the internet is "free" is a prime example. We don't pay for most internet content, or email, or many other computer/internet applications. But while we do not exchange money for these goods and services somebody is making money to sustain the system and profit. This is generally gained from information they get from us. You can see this in the banner ads posted on the websites you go to or the offers you get via email. So we know we are compromised, but that doesn't mean that everything is up for grabs, certainly not legally. Many privacy provisions in place to protect us and give us some legal recourse would be gone under CISPA.

Many of the groups against CISPA were against SOPA, however while SOPA was stopped dead in its tracks CISPA has struggled on, in part because the same corporate groups who were completely against SOPA are more divided on CISPA. This is probably because a part of CISPA decreases companies liabilities--i.e it will harder if impossible to use them for misuse of person information. The list of representatives includes plenty of Republicans and Democrats--including freedom lovers Darrel Issa and Jason Chaffez who insist CISPA is nothing like SOPA which they did vote against.
As Derek Khanna noted on twitter its difficult to reconcile the GOP opposition to gun legislation on the basis of privacy-but GOP silence on CISPA privacy issues. Khanna, a Republican, even though he was fired from this RSC staff position for writing a memo calling for major copyright reform has a terrific article about CISPA and related issues here.

CISPA will go on to the Senate, modified in some way, and be put to a vote. It's possible a veto could be overidden, with the current numbers.  However the hope is that between now and then the bill can be modified significantly, or, the same lawmakers who voted for in once can be convinced not to vote for it again.

As a fun aside, Mike Rogers, the chair of the committee, who refused to engaged with the detractors of the bill in any way looks to-this will come to a shock to you I am sure-personally benefit from the deal. Freedom!

1 comment:

  1. Its NOT that difficult to reconcile the GOP opposition to gun legislation on the basis of privacy-but GOP silence on CISPA privacy issues really. Campaign finance money is the conduit plain and simple. Self serve before public service and which ever way the wind blows money to your campaign.