CISPA The New SOPA: Is The Era Of Internet Freedom Coming To An End?

Internet Censorship SC CISPA The New SOPA: Is The Era Of Internet Freedom Coming To An End?

I am sure you remember the successful movement earlier this year to prevent Congress from passing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and  the Protect IP Act (PIPA.) Tens of millions of people around the world signed petitions from websites  such as Google and Wikipedia while many websites “went black” for a day to protest what they saw as an attempt by the feds to censor the internet.

Unfortunately, the Republican House of Representatives and the Democratic Senate still don’t seem to have gotten the message. You see, while both parties claim to disagree on a lot of issues, they agree basically that the federal government needs to police the internet in the name of innocent-sounding reasons like “copyright protection” and “cyber-security.” Each bill addressing these “problems” has had bipartisan support. I wonder what part of the Constitution will be referred to by the House in justifying the passage of one or more of these bills into law (more on the Constitution in a bit…)

The latest bill to be introduced that threatens to censor the web is the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA.) Some consider it to be worse than its predecessors, unfortunately. Essentially, CISPA allows companies to collect information about you and then report said info to the feds. The government simply needs to request this into in the name of cyber-security.

The actual language of the bill  is rather vague and could very well allow Congress to monitor, censor, and delete any online communications that it considers to be “disruptive” to the government and the big corporations and special interests behind this anti-free internet legislation.

Kendall Burman of the Center for Democracy and Technology, which supports a free and open internet, says that our of the several cyber-security bills pending in Congress, CISPA is the “most alarming.” It does not specify to whom in the government that this collected information would go, although Ms. Burman thinks it is likely it will go into the hands of the NSA, which is quite reassuring.

Is this bill constitutional? I know that collectivists on both sides of the aisle who support this legislation will say something like the following: “Back in the day while writing the Constitution, the Founders could not have possibly predicted the rise of computer technology as well as the downsides that come with it.” On this point in and of itself, I agree with them; nevertheless, the Constitution does not authorize Congress to pass laws like these (as per Article I, Section 8.) At the very least, it imposes an enormous threat to our First Amendment rights of free speech and a free press as well as our Fourth Amendment rights of protection against unnecessary searches from authority.

Besides, Ms. Burman insists that law enforcement already has plenty of tools at its disposal to combat the crimes that the co-sponsors of this legislation are concerned with. Also, she is concerned that this bill could lead to a “backdoor wiretap or a surveillance program”  by an innocent-sounding name (i.e. the PATRIOT Act.)

CISPA has so far been introduced, referred to, and reported by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The goal is to ram this bill through the entire House later this month and then the Senate will probably take up their version of this legislation. President Obama so far has not openly taken a position on CISPA, although personally I do not think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out where he privately leans on this bill.

Perhaps the most unfortunate thing about the bill is the fact that dozens of supposedly anti-”big government” Republicans in the House are co-sponsors (the lead sponsor is Republican Mike Rogers from Michigan). These so-called “conservatives” include Michele Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn, Trent Franks, Darrell Issa, Phil Gingey, Ben Quayle, Joe “You Lie” Wilson, Sue Myrick, and others.

Everyone reading this should immediately call or e-mail their Congressman and tell them to vote against this monstrosity of a bill every chance they get. Of course if their representative is a co-sponsor, tell them that you plan to vote for a primary challenger unless they wash their hands of this filth.

Click here to watch Ms. Berman’s interview with RT about CISPA.

Photo credit: Ashley Poeticy (Creative Commons)

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  1. Guess it hasn't sunk in yet folks. Our government is out to silence and enslave us and they are winning. I hope all who have been advocating for this government enjoy the yoke.

  2. Just one more nail in our countries coffin….Obama, unlike what some think, has had a very successful first three years and knows EXACTLY what he is doing.

  3. Betsy K. Larsen says:

    This “act” does not mean to stop with the Internet, folks, it will go on and on, until our very thoughts and whispers are “monitered”. If there is even a breath of disagreement with this bunch of New Age Nazis, we will all be silenced in a most profound manner, death to anyone and everyone who does not “conform”. Does anyone remember how it all went down when Hitler was taking over Germany and the rest of Europe? It all started one little loss of freedom at a time. A little at a time, so that when full scale take over was in full swing, it was, by then, too late to do anything. As it is, our freedoms have been under attack since the day this peice of camel dung was “sworn in” as “president”. That day was the day that he decided to not only be a “president”, but in time, become the Ruler of the one Free nation left on earth, and so far, he has done exactly what he planned in his evil and wicked, AND twisted thing that passes for a mind! Are we going to sit back, and say after this happens, “Well, we couldn’t do anything about it”? I say, “YES WE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!” Because we have what no other nations still have, and I’ll leave that up to you to think about! What do we still own that could make the difference between a take over by this hateful bunch of Ruler Wanna Be’s?…………………….????

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