Editorial: CISPA Puts Our Privacy at Stake

Our government is at it again, now with the House having approved CISPA. CISPA, or the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, proposes to allow private companies and our beloved government to share information during a cyber attack.

Sure, cyber attacks aren't fun, but a lot of the groups backing them have their reasoning and manifestos. Now with this bill, law makers mean to tell us that during the event of a cyber attack, they can shut down a website. You have to be kidding me. What is this going to protect in the long run, when all it will be creating is a bunch of fear-mongering, paranoid Internet users?

The government can notify the companies, and vice versa, when an incoming attack is taking place, so all can be well. Sounds like passing go, collecting $200 and then landing on Free Parking and winning the pot, if you play by those rules. Well, of course, that is all too good to be true. Our privacy is at stake here.

Our privacy is at stake because companies can now hand over users' private information, overriding all provisions as well as privacy laws to obtain this information.

Representatives Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger denied this by introducing some amendment that requires the government to make this data anonymous. Sure…while at the same time companies aren't required to keep their data collected anonymously. Maybe these companies should take that as a sign to not support CISPA because of the burden that will be put on themselves.

This is the Patriot Act all over again, now digitalized. I feel like my internal hard drives are now external drives that the government has access to. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, our communication service providers can share our emails, text messages and what's on our cloud storage. At what point is enough going to be enough? Some of the bill's supporters right now are AT&T, Comcast, HP, IBM, Intel, Time Warner Cable and Verizon.

I wonder what is in it for those companies. Most of what this ridiculous bill will "protect" is something right up their alley. Are we really the land of the free and the home of the brave? I can bet there are going to be a lot of angry Americans out there when they shut down Facebook for a day because of an imminent attack and stick their noses in your data.