It feels like just a few weeks ago that the Internet rallied together against the SOPA and PIPA bills that were being debated in Congress. Those bills pale in comparison to the new bill that is making its way through the rounds, H.R. 3523 or CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act). The new bill has failed to gain mainstream attention, but I don’t see that lasting very much longer.
What makes CISPA so much worse than SOPA and PIPA? Well, for starters, the vagueness of the bill is the scary part. The words in the bill are so very broad that it could make a 78-year-old grandma that isn’t even a user of the Internet shiver with fear.
The bill would encourage private companies to monitor cyber threat information that goes across their networks and then share that information with the government. The requirements for the government to request the information are very broad and that is the main issue with the bill.
The opening line of the bill, which can be read here, displays the vagueness and broad reach:
“To provide for the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity entities, and for other purposes.”
The “and for other purposes” really raises concerns. What are the other purposes?
This bill could mean that everything you type into your web browser would be monitored and sent off to the government. We are not against going after cyber threats, but the scope of this bill is so broad that it oversteps the freedom of the innocent.
What will the consequences of this bill? Companies acting as “big brother” may over monitor our online activity, making criminals out of all of us. What effect would this bill have on the Internet experience? Leave your comments below.