Cyber threats are real and have affected major corporations. China-based hackers have even tapped into personal information from journalists at the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Action needs to be taken to prevent future cyber attacks.
That’s what the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act set out to achieve. In April, 2012 the bill was introduced and passed the House, but it didn’t pass the Senate because it didn’t have White House support.
In a Statement of Administration Policy from the Executive Office of the President in April, the government said in response to the bill, “Legislation should address core critical infrastructure vulnerabilities without sacrificing the fundamental values of privacy and civil liberties for out citizens.”
At that time, President Obama said he would veto the bill on the grounds that it put “American’s privacy at risk,” but it is unclear how this round with the bill will go.
Meanwhile, opponents of CISPA are making their voices heard. Fight for the Future, a digital rights group, started an anti-CISPA petition and collected 30,000 signatures in just three days. Twitter was flooded with comments that encouraged others to fight CISPA and demand privacy rights. Likewise, Reddit.com discussions surrounded frustration over fighting the same bill repeatedly, as well as the need for reform.
If CISPA is passed, it would amend the National Security Act of 1947 to include cyber threat intelligence and the ability to share information deemed related to such threats. Though tech-based companies and the technology industry support the bill and see it as a way to easily share data surrounding a potential threat with the government and other corporations, others oppose it because it is a violation of the fourth amendment, which applies to technology searches.
The bill may aim to protect against hackers, but it holds the possibilities of abuse. It would allow companies to easily share information of innocent people, as well as sharing unnecessary data. Some view it as a way for the government to gain more control at the cost of giving up the right to privacy.