What is CISPA?

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As we were rightfully distracted this past week the Senate still went to work. Senate was faced to vote on two controversial bills about our civil liberties. One was to allow background checks to buy guns, which didn’t pass, and CISPA that did. Am I the only one that doesn’t know what CISPA is?  The acronym CISPA stands for Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.  According to mypc.com “it would allow for voluntary information sharing between private companies, like Facebook or Google, and the government in the event of a cyber attack. If the government detects an attack it could possibly take down Facebook or Government but also if Facebook and Google detect unusual activity on their networks those companies can inform the Federal government. Huffington post suggest “ It (CISPA) helps the individual protect his right to privacy and it doesn’t allow the employer to impersonate that particular employee when other people are interacting with that person across social media platforms”.  This can prevent hackers before they leak valuable information by making the risks a lot higher. On the other hand it can allow the government the legal flexibility to invade our private Internet lives. 

 

Is this government attempt to catch up and regulate cyber crime or know more about its legal citizens? Anonymous, an unknown Internet advocate thinks it’s an attempt to invade our privacy and is staging an Internet black out.

 

Anonymous is not alone. Critics of CISPA say that in its current form, the law violates privacy rights because it lacks protections on how private data can be used by the government. As of right now it is written to broadly which has led to negative reactions of the bills true motive. 

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While proponents of the bill say it’s needed because increase number of attacks from other countries. This bill is a preemptive strike that allows the government to protect us cyber terrorism.

 

I am still uncertain of where I stand on CISPA but I will reluctantly give up my Internet privacy if it means to protect us.

 

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8 thoughts on “What is CISPA?

  1. Although this bill can be made to seem like it has good intentions, there is definitely some semblance of the double-edged sword in the case of CISPA. I feel that passing this act would be an invasion of privacy and could begin a snowball effect in government legislation. If the government is allowed access to our personal internet trafficking information, who’s to say they won’t keep invading our private lives further with more new laws? The founding fathers obviously didn’t have cyber attacks on their mind when they first created our government’s power structure, but I still think CISPA may be going one step too far. In my interpretation, it just provides a means for the federal government to slyly infringe on individual rights. If the government has access to this information we would surely be safer from cyber attacks, but who knows what other inadvertent uses they could have for that personal info.

  2. Although i do agree that it is sometimes necessary to give up something in order to receive something positively back, in this case giving up privacy to receive more efficient protection is not a fair agreement. I think here when dealing with social media and other personal internet sources, the line must be drawn. The problem here is that companies like gmail and Facebook are used globally, not just domestically, so if these companies are given the right to divulge private information in our country, where do international users who did not agree to this know that these companies will not divulge their privacy. Interesting topic and nice arguments.

  3. Very interesting topic. And much like you, I actually was completely unaware that the CISPA bill was going through the Senate. It’s an very conflicting topic in my mind, because the government has an obligation to protect its citizens pushes me more towards supporting this bill. At the same time, however, I’m not a big fan of the fact that the government will be able to go through all of my information on Facebook. But I don’t really know if I have a choice. When we create these profiles on public websites like Facebook, Twitter, etc., we are in a way giving up our right to privacy by posting pictures, videos, statuses, tweets, etc., and letting the public into our lives. In the event of some sort of cyber attack, why shouldn’t the government be able to easily access this data to help stop/prevent the attack? The internet is such an influential place as social media can make images, videos, or information go viral in no time at all. If a hacker were to get into a main frame database consisting of peoples social security numbers for example, there could be long term consequences. As demonstrated today, the Associated Press’s twitter account was hacked (http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/04/23/hackers-break-into-associated-press-twitter-account/) earlier today stating that the White House was bombed and Obama was injured. Thankfully this didn’t go viral and was quickly resolved, however should there be another situation with bigger consequences, I definitely think that the government should have some way of accessing the data that we already publicly share on the internet if it means stopping a cyber attack.

  4. So I read this article because I had no idea was CISPA was and was curious so thanks for informing. I think that I agree with you that I would be willing to give up some of my privacy rights for increased protection. I think it will be really interesting to see what the implications of the passing of the bill will be? I would think and hope that the government would use this power in a very responsible way. Cyber crime is so unprecedented that it proves to be really difficult to deal with. I’m sure this is a way of trying to deal with this problem. I think there is a lot of room for our legal system to catch up with the exponential growth of technology.

  5. This is a very interesting topic that I was just as confused about as you were. You did a good job of getting down to the core issue regarding the law, however, which is privacy. I do believe that I am willing to give up some of my privacy for protection, but the question is how much? I do agree that at this stage the law may be a bit too broad and need to be narrowed. I am interested to see how this law plays out once it is implemented and what it will mean for our use of the Internet on a daily basis.

  6. This is definitely thought provoking and concerning for us all. I think what is most notable is that there a thousands, even millions of people out there who will not stand for this. It is clear that this legislation was not created for the good of the people or by the people’s will. That is the most upsetting part about this bill. On the bright side, it is possible that the government may truly be able to protect us and internet users from hacks or other threats. However, as you mentioned, it leaves nearly all of our internet information open to the government, a pretty scary thought. What I found most disturbing was the article title “Bad news Facebook users, U.S. employers may soon be able to require employees to fork over their social media passwords.” This is an absolute invasion of privacy. It would be like walking into an interview and telling them everything about you, including all your secrets. Hopefully we can learn to manage the internet and legislation more fairly and justifiably so as to avoid conflict. I liked how you described CISPA but I would recommend that you elaborate on your personal opinion more. I wrote a blog about China attacking the US over computers since about 2009, so I wonder if CISPA has anything to do with protecting us and companies from these kind of attacks.

  7. This is a really interesting topic. I myself didn’t know what CISPA is, but this is a very interesting and seemingly controversial issue. On the one hand, like you pointed out, protecting our privacy from new forms of terrorism is proactive. On the other, part of being a democracy is that there is always a level of uncertainty that pervades society. So is it then the governments role to intervene?

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