The Internet collectively sighed in relief after the ridiculously flawed Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, was shelved earlier this year.
Many who don’t follow politics or Congress closely were willing to dismiss the whole uncomfortable affair — we came very close to a law that would’ve enabled widespread Internet content censorship in America — as Congressional folly… the ignorance of old, powerful men who don’t spend nearly enough time on Reddit.
Congress’ aggressive push of the even worse Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, paints a darker picture.
Congress may know exactly what it’s doing.
Respected technology blog Techdirt wrote earlier today: “Like SOPA early on, it appears that Congress simply takes for granted that if you call something one thing (whether it’s ‘stopping piracy’ or ‘protecting cybersecurity’) no one will bother looking at the details to realise just how problematic the bill actually is.
But this is a bad, bad bill, which effectively will lead to significant spying on internet usage and private communications by the government with little to no oversight — and that includes not just domestic law enforcement, but military spying as well. The whole thing is absolutely crazy (especially when there are less onerous bills that are much more sensible).”
Don’t think this one will ever pass both houses of Congress, end up on President Obama’s desk, and be signed into law by him with very little media coverage?
Well, the same was said about the Bill of Rights destroying NDAA (which Obama signed on New Year’s Eve while vacationing in Hawaii — almost no media coverage at the time).
And the same was said about the unexpected extension of the Patriot Act, which was authorised by Obama last year.
“The provisions were due to expire at midnight Thursday without an extension. President Obama is attending a summit in France, but the bill was signed by autopen with his authorization moments before the deadline, the White House said,” The Washington Post reported at the time.
The danger of CISPA becoming law — and widespread government snooping into your most personal online activities — is real indeed.
Below, David sounds off on CISPA during Sunday night’s DL Cast segment:
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