On April 26, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed CISPA - the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act, H.R. 3523 - by a vote of 248-168. This week, the Senate will vote on CISPA-like bills (Lieberman-Collins S.2105 or McCain S.2151).
CISPA gives the government, including military spy agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA), virtually unlimited powers to capture our personal information - medical records, private emails, financial information - all without a warrant or proper oversight.
Civil liberties groups and progressives unanimously opposed CISPA in the House, and President Obama threatened a veto because it does not protect our privacy.
In the Senate, Democrats (led by Al Franken) are trying to add privacy protections. But Republicans (led by John McCain) are determined to defeat those protections and give Big Brother unlimited power to spy on us.
Tell your Senators to protect your privacy from Big Brother and oppose CISPA.
p.s. Every media report on CISPA raises the fear of a cyber attack on "critical infrastructure" like the electric power grid. But all regulations requiring private companies to improve their cyber security were removed by Republicans serving the Chamber of Commerce, which opposes all regulations on business. So the bill now does nothing useful to protect "critical infrastructure," and only authorizes Big Brother spying.
I urge you to oppose CISPA cybersecurity bill (H.R. 3523) and its Senate counterparts by Lieberman-Collins (S.2105) or McCain (S.2151).
CISPA would trample on decades of privacy law, allowing companies to spy on our online communications and pass all kinds of sensitive data to the government.
That information could end up in the hands of the National Security Agency (NSA), which is notorious for its lack of public accountability. And that data could also be used for purposes completely unrelated to cybersecurity. As one expert wrote:
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.
Civil liberties groups and progressives unanimously opposed CISPA. President Obama warned the House he would veto the bill because it does not protect our privacy, but they ignored his warnings.
I urge you to defend my civil liberties under the First and Fourth Amendments and oppose CISPA.