I’m rather surprised that no one else has written a post on the CISPA bill passed in the House of Representatives last week. So I guess I’ll take the easy one. CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, passed rather convincingly in the House (288 to 127) even after a surprising veto threat from the President. Essentially, the bill allows companies to share every piece of information they possess on clients with any other entity – to include the federal government. This effectively supersedes any Terms & Agreements contract made between clients and companies. Even so far as protecting the company from any sort of civil litigation. If you guys remember, a similar bill was struck down in the House last year after passing the Senate because the House didn’t feel like it was strong enough. Also, the SOPA bill from early last year never made it out of the House because of overwhelming opposition from the American people – a staggering 4,500,000 signatures. To put that number in perspective, the second highest signature count was for Texas to secede after the Presidential election at about 80,000. Here’s a link to a Huffington Post article that includes a video for further information.
So what’s being done in response and why is it that CISPA passed the House when SOPA never even made it to the vote? In response, Anonymous has proposed an Internet blackout on Monday. There is no word yet on which websites plan on doing so, but historically, numbers have been very good. They did something similar for SOPA and more than 7,000 websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit and Google participated. Why has CISPA “succeeded” where SOPA failed? Because majority of the opposition to CISPA are non-profits, whereas SOPA had major corporate backers. Obviously, in the corrupt government we have, money talks, not people. Well, considering corporations are now considered people, I should say that money talks louder, but I digress.
My question is: why in the hell does the government keep trying to censor the Internet in the face of overwhelming opposition?! I’m a strong supporter of freedom, and most especially in the freedoms afforded by the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech to which arguably the greatest conduit in history is the Internet. We’ve already seen our Fourth Amendment rights essentially eliminated (drones, warrantless wiretappings, the door-to-door search conducted by Boston Police to catch suspect 2 in the past week), our Second Amendment right being currently targeted, and our Sixth Amendment rights not even being acknowledged (in cases such as Bradley Manning, who has been sitting in Fort Leavenworth since 2010 and is just now receiving a trial). I just can’t fathom how these laws can supersede Constitutional Amendments, and furthermore, I can’t see how Congressmen are getting reelected when they support neither the Constitution, nor their constituents!