Despite an increasingly noisy chorus of resistance to many of its provisions, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) passed the House, 248-168, on April 26. Passage in the House was assured with more than 70 percent of those supported by the Tea Party voting for it. It moved to an uncertain future in the Senate.

The opposition noted that the bill’s many flaws included precious little “protection” for rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, especially those guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by the Obama administration of an appeals court decision granting standing to the ACLU to challenge the NSA's domestic wiretapping program.

Last the week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) aimed at discovering the content of all electronic correspondence between Google and the National Security Agency (NSA).

The judge presiding in the case against Army Private Bradley Manning has ruled that all 22 charges against him will stand, including the charge of "aiding the enemy." However, he also warned the military attorneys prosecuting the case that they must prove that Manning knew he was helping the enemy or that particular charge could be thrown out.

In a surprise move the White House issued a statement on Wednesday threatening to veto CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) because of privacy concerns. Parts of the statement sounded as if they had been drafted by Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul:

An Internet censorship and privacy-destroying bill will be taken up by the House this week.

This is “cybersecurity week,” according to Brock Meeks at Wired.com when CISPA (the Orwellian-named Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) is scheduled to move to the House floor for a vote. Offered originally before SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and its sister PIPA (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act) were blown up in January, Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) have offered some amendments to the bill (H.R. 3523) to soften some of its critics and to avoid the same result.

The shadowy but controversial National Security Agency (NSA) — despite U.S. law and constitutional protections — has collected most of the e-mails sent and received by Americans, agency whistleblower William Binney explained during an explosive TV interview. Phone calls and other forms of electronic communications are also routinely targeted.

Next time your family plays a game on your Wii gaming system, you may be giving the Department of Homeland Security access to your address, credit card numbers, online passwords, and chat conversations.

 
 

 "A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." — Washington Irving

 
 
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