PROTECT YOUR CIVIL LIBERTIES, PROTECT ONLINE PRIVACY!
On Thursday April 26th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA (HR 3523) by a vote of 248 to 168. The bill will now move to the Senate for a vote, and we are urging you to contact your Senate representatives to help stop CISPA.
The bill is claimed to safeguard the public against “cyber threats”, however critics suggest that the bill is broad and vaguely worded – giving government and military intelligence agencies the legal power to collect the private data of American citizens without the use of a warrant.
House Republicans overwhelmingly voted in support of CISPA, while nearly one fourth of the votes in favor of the bill were attributed to House Democrats.
The Obama administration has publicly opposed CISPA and is threatening a veto, however, it is vital that the American public let their senators know that they also oppose this bill.
The White House stated that the bill lacks civilian oversight and protection of privacy, and that “without clear legal protections and independent oversight, information sharing legislation will undermine the public’s trust in the government as well as in the internet by undermining fundamental privacy, confidentiality, civil liberties, and consumer protections.”
Although the White House has expressed opposition to CISPA, they are still interested in implementing a cyber security bill.
ABOUT CISPA – the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) was introduced on November 30, 2011 by U.S. Representative Michael Rogers (R-MI) and 111 co-sponsors. It is an amendment to the National Security Act of 1947, which has not yet been amended to contain provisions related to cybercrime.
CISPA allows for the voluntary sharing of information between the U.S. government and security cleared technology and manufacturing companies in order to safeguard the public from cyber threats. CISPA legalizes the collection and monitoring of private information by the U.S. government with very few limitations on what information is collected, monitored, and how it the private data is utilized.
Advocates of Internet privacy and civil liberties, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Reporters Without Borders have expressed strong criticism against the bill.
The term ‘cyber threat’ in the bill is defined as a “vulnerability of, or threat to, a system or network of a government or private entity, including information pertaining to the protection of a system or network from either ‘efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network’; or ‘theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information.'”
The bill also permits the Director of National Intelligence to share cyber threat intelligence with private-sector entities and encourages the sharing of this information.
CAIR-Chicago is asking you to contact your Senators to let them you know oppose CISPA! You can easily contact your Senators by visiting the United States Senate website and selecting your representative.
Support your right to Internet privacy and protect your civil liberties! Share this e-mail widely and spread the word about CISPA!