The House of Representatives added an amendment to their Cybersecurity bill CISPA, and then passed it 248-168. Those 248 people need to take a high school civics course are get a refresher on the Bill of Rights.
The bill will annihilate our 4th Amendment rights on the Internet by creating a loophole whereby the authorities can pretty much establish cause to search any files you’re sharing with another web service – Email, Google Docs, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, banking, medical databases, websites, Google Search, you name it, if it isn’t hosted on your own server, you’re screwed.
Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for “cybersecurity” or “national security” purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.
Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. 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. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government’s power.
CISPA is now a completely unsupportable bill that rewrites (and effectively eliminates) all privacy laws for any situation that involves a computer. Far from the defense against malevolent foreign entities that the bill was described as by its authors, it is now an explicit attack on the freedoms of every American.
I’m choosing to believe that 248 of our Representatives are just incredibly stupid, because otherwise they are evil. This is one of the most oppressive bills I’ve ever heard of. Bunch of savages.
Hopefully Obama comes through with a Veto, and it holds up.