CISPA Reportedly Dead — for Now

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
CISPA Reportedly Dead — for Now

Senate sources report that CISPA (the controversial Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act) likely will not come up for a vote this year.

Refusing to follow in the footsteps of their colleagues in the House of Representatives, the Senate will reportedly decline to take up debate on the controversial Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

A story in U.S. News reports that a “representative of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation" said that CISPA is unlikely to make its way to the Senate floor for consideration.

Within its many provisions, CISPA contains direct assaults on the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

CISPA’s threat to our most fundamental rights is real and irreversible if passed by the Senate and signed by the president (the president has repeatedly insisted that he would veto the bill, however).

For example, CISPA would obliterate (and invalidate) all Internet privacy laws presently in force. Companies large and small would be permitted to turn over to the federal government users’ e-mails, usernames, passwords, browsing history, and most other forms of electronically stored information.

That’s not all. According to information distributed by CISPA’s two largest opponents — the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — the data the government is targeting with CISPA includes medical records, credit reports, and most other “personally identifiable information” that might be caught in a cybersecurity net.

Who would be the most likely recipient of this cache of personal digital profiles? The National Security Agency (NSA). Agents of the this domestic surveillance mammoth would need no warrant before approaching Internet companies with requests for their customers’ otherwise private information.

Although proponents of the bill point out that Internet companies could redact their customers’ most private information, the text of CISPA contains no provision for such protection of privacy.

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