Since my previous post a week ago, a bill called the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act” (aka CISPA) has been passed by the House of Representatives despite an enormous amount of opposition by the public, and will soon be voted on in the Senate. This bill, intended to increase communication between the government and security agencies on the internet, contains vague language which threatens the entire Internet community.
For one, the entire culture of the Covert will be made illegal, because of their use of email encryption and secure networks such as TOR to hide their identity. In addition, the government will be able, under CISPA, to monitor any and every online interaction without a warrant, and considering how much of my life is posted on the internet through Facebook alone, this fact is what scares me the most.
I encourage each and every one of you, even (and especially) if you currently do not think this concerns you, to read up on this legislation and decide for yourselves whether or not you can live with this stripping of our online privacy, and if not, contact your representatives about your opposition to this bill. In the wake of the internet’s outburst over SOPA, it seems that people have lost the energy to fight the seemingly inevitable removal of their privacy and freedom.
I can’t say that I was surprised that this type of legislation has recently become more of an issue. The use of the internet in Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring has resulted in governments realizing that the Internet has the potential to overwhelm their power. SOPA and CISPA, along with the five or more other pending legislations, are the government’s attempt to curb this shift in power. I personally hate to see progress halted for the sake of traditional power roles.