The “cooling saucer” effect might be working in the Senate the way the Founders intended. According to various reports, the Senate is too weary from trying to hammer out bills relating to immigration and gun control to face the gauntlet that would come from taking up the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).
By a vote of 288-127, the House of Representatives passed CISPA, a measure that if enacted would have far-reaching and frightening effects on the right of Americans “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures” as protected by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.
Representative Justin Amash (R-Mich.), one of a handful of lawmakers who consistently vote against unconstitutional bills, tweeted this explanation of the dangers latent in CISPA: “CIPSA destroys freedom of contract, prohibits companies from making legally binding commitment to users not to share personal data/e-mails.”
Later, just prior to the roll call vote in the House, Amash warned on his Facebook page, “The bill threatens our due process rights protected under the Fourth Amendment and prohibits companies from guaranteeing your privacy.”
Amash is right. 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.
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