by Derrick Broze
April 16, 2013
In a statement released Tuesday the Obama Administration once again threatened to veto the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) over fears that information sharing between corporations and government will lead to more privacy violations.
The Obama administration claims to be standing for privacy and wants the bill to be reworked to better protect citizens. The issue is with legal immunity that corporations will be granted through this bill. The legislation leaves it up to the companies to decide what government agencies to share the information with and grants them limited liability for any violations of the law.
The bill is scheduled to be voted on later this week.
“The vote comes after a closed door meeting that was criticized by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). Jeramie Scott, national security fellow at EPIC said “Public accountability is paramount with cybersecurity. The House Intelligence Committee is trying to avoid public scrutiny. EPIC would like to see the process opened up to the public, robust privacy protections added, and Presidential Decision Directives on cybersecurity released to the public.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and companies such as Facebook and Reddit have spoken out about fears of giving government too much access to individuals private information. There is also the worry of supplying the National Security Agency with an even larger pool of names to spy on.” On Monday thirty-four civil liberties organizations sent a joint letter to Congressional Representatives urging them to continue to oppose the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).
The White House claims to be concerned for citizen privacy. Their solution to make things more safe is to share your information with their own secretive agency, the Department of Homeland Security. “Newly authorized information sharing for cybersecurity purposes from the private sector to the government should enter the government through a civilian agency, the Department of Homeland Security.”
Are Americans to be expected to entrust their information with the agency that is purchasing large stockpiles of weapons and refusing to answer questions on the subject? This is what the government believes is best for you and your family. It is the job of Statists to mystify, and confuse the casual onlooker by having one hand presenting a positive intention and the other working towards a similar goal.
While the administration publicly states that they are interested in protecting free speech and ensuring privacy concerns are addressed they have actually taken steps to do the opposite. Earlier this year President Obama issued an executive order relating to the internet. The President used one of his favorite tactics to personally implement information sharing provisions that could not be done legislatively through CISPA.
It’s another ploy by the Obama administration to save face publicly while secretly working to get what they wanted all along. The President does not want Congress drafting a measure that will threaten your privacy but when it is done by the stroke of a presidential pen he is all for it.
What remains clear is that governments around the world are working to regulate the internet one way or the other. As these efforts are pushed forth civil liberties are often set side aside in the name of some sense of cyber security. It is not only the job of groups like the ACLU, EPIC and the EFF to fight for the free internet. It is also ours.
I have said it before and It is worth repeating, we must seek alternatives to accessing the net in the event of a shutdown. We need to create stronger local networks to communicate important information across. We must stand up and take to the streets when the authorities want to strip away our right to information. What ever your method of fighting, now is the time to fight for the internet.
Derrick Broze is a founding member of The Houston Free Thinkers.
He writes for dev-test.intellihub.com a popular independent news website.
He can be heard on Orion Talk Radio, Local Live Houston and the upcoming Unbound Radio.
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