I’m kind of at a loss of words on this. Here is yet another piece of legislation that is trying to be passed by Congress that violates our basic rights as Internet users. Congress seems hell bent on getting something passed as of late, where some ulterior motive is behind it, which usually means someone other than the congress person is pushing for the legislation because they have a hidden agenda.
What is CISPA? Well, as with most of these Internet bills, they are complicated and full of hard to read language that is vague and can be interpreted many ways, which is one of the reasons why they are so bad. CISPA is the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (H.R. 3523) which is sponsored and introduced into Congress by Mike J. Rogers (R). The purpose of CISPA is to remove any legal roadblocks for Internet companies from providing all your private information to the government. These companies are able to bypass Internet privacy laws at the request of the government essentially.
Internet companies like Facebook, Google or Twitter would be subject to CISPA if the government felt that they wanted your information for whatever reason, and Facebook, Google or Twitter would be required to provide this information to them. In the same token of taking your info and providing it to the government, the government could also request any information be restricted from your use, on that Internet companies site.
Here is a good example provided by CNET:
CISPA is primarily a surveillance bill. With CISPA, a company like Google, Facebook, Twitter, or AT&T could intercept your e-mails and text messages, send copies to one another and to the government, and keep it from being sent if it fits into a plan to stop “cybersecurity” threats.
[…] say the government thought you were discussing a cybersecurity threat or IP theft — such as illegal file sharing somehow related to cybersecurity — on Facebook. The bill would not force Facebook to hand you over to the feds, yet CISPA does make it so that Facebook will be completely unrestricted (say, by your rights) to cooperate with Homeland Security to the fullest extent.
So here we are, with another bill similar to SOPA, ACTA and worse. Although CISPA may not seem as horribly bad as SOPA and ACTA, it still violates our rights and we as users of the Internet should not stand for it. If you care enough about your rights, you can do something about it by using this online tool from the EFF or this online tool from Demand Progress.