Following the SOPA/PIPA uproar that splashed across the Internet earlier this year, we now have another cyber-security bill that threatens American Web browsing privacy, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, otherwise known as CISPA.
The House of Representatives passed the bill Thursday evening, moving the legislation closer to law. The bill is stalled in the Senate and President Obama has said he would veto the law if it made it to his desk. Even so, activists and observers on the Internet saw how far SOPA got and backers expect it to pass, says ProPublica. Protestors also saw how far education, blogging and general Internet awareness campaigns got them in the fight against it. Many see CISPA as just as bad, if not worse than the previous cyber security bills, and they're pushing back on it.
Before doing any protesting, the techies first clarified what makes CISPA the new SOPA. It's actually not exactly the new SOPA, as ProPublica's very complete explainer, points out. "SOPA was about intellectual property; CISPA is about cyber security, but opponents believe both bills have the potential to trample constitutional rights," writes ProPublica's Megha Rajagopalan. But, both have to do with the way you use the Internet and both threaten user privacy. This bill has nothing to do with copyright and online intellectual property. It would do more than just shutdown your favorite overseas pirates. But like SOPA, in the name of some loftier goal -- in SOPA's case copyright, in CISPA's case cyber-security -- CISPA gives the government your Internet. With SOPA, this meant censoring the Internet. CISPA, however, gives companies many Americans use, like Facebook and Twitter the ability to hand over your information to any government agency.