While our focus was on Boston and Texas, Congress was busy laying the foundation to steal our Internet privacy. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, has been creeping up on the horizon for some time now, and is the greatest assault on our privacy our country has ever experienced.
CISPA is the national “cyber security law” Congress passed on April 18, 2013, by a vote of 288 to 127 at the same time as CNN, NBC, and FOX diverted our attention through their continuing coverage of the molestation of Boston and its surrounding communities. CISPA is much more cunning than its purported goal of “protecting” Americans. It is the next key building block liberals want to use to destroy our freedom. Included in this monstrosity is the provision giving your employer the right to request and get your Facebook password. If your boss wants to login to your Facebook account he will have every right to do so, and you can’t say a word or you can be fired. They defeated a last minute attempt to remove this provision from the bill by a 224-189 majority, but it stayed in the bill.
Most of us who are awake get our real news and information from the Internet. We communicate with one another, share videos and pictures with our family and friends and stay in touch with old friends and acquaintances through social media like Facebook and twitter. That’s hardly worthy of spying on. Yet, with CISPA, we lose any expectation of privacy.
The most chilling part of CISPA is its imprecise and vague wording. It will allow private companies like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google, and many, many more, to share your private data and information with any government agency, without question. Even your cell phone provider would be able to hand over your phone records, texting information, and usage data to the government and law enforcement agencies for whenever and for whatever reason they want, without question. This is the Department of Homeland Security’s underhanded way of building their databases on all Americans.
Government agencies would not be required to obtain a warrant or subpoena before asking Internet companies for your personal data. They are not even required to let you know the government asked for your personal information. This new law would supersede Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and any other laws giving us an expectation of online privacy. Despite numerous amendments and changes, there are no guarantees that personal data, such as health records and banking information, won’t be shared.
Congress first introduced CISPA in 2011. Last year it passed in the House and died in the Senate because of a wall of opposition from activists and groups who understood the harmful elements of this legislation. Even the ACLU is against this overreaching monster.
Speaking of a monster, the National Security Administration announced earlier this month that they are building a million square foot, $1.2 billion data center at Camp W.G. Williams National Guard Post in Utah that will be home to our personal information. According to NetSecurity.org, “The data center will be a state-of-the-art facility designed to support the Intelligence Community’s efforts to further strengthen and protect the nation’s cyber security.” Washington is getting ready for something massive that requires this space to store a massive computer system.
NSA Deputy Director John Inglis tells us, “In an era when our nation and its allies are increasingly dependent on the integrity of information and systems supported, transmitted, or stored in cyberspace, it is essential that that space is as resilient and secure as possible.”
This leads us to ask a few questions. How many times have we joked with family and friends on Facebook when we don’t agree with something a politician has said or done? How many comments have we made opposing upcoming laws, bills, and politicians that could be used against us by someone with an agenda? How will all this information be filed, sorted, and used in the government’s profiles, in this big building, in Utah? While CISPA made it through the House again, we must once again see its demise in the Senate or everything we do online will be subject to interpretation by someone who doesn’t even know us. Cyberspace will get a whole lot creepier if we don’t stop it now.