The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which encourages Internet companies to share your private data with the government under the guise of “cybersecurity,” was reintroduced to Congress by Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.)
A leaked draft of the bill, which isn’t publicly available yet on Congress.gov, is practically a carbon copy of its 2013 incarnation and is exactly what President Obama wants in a proposal he made Tuesday.
“It is written so broadly that it allows companies to hand over large swaths of personal information to the government with no judicial oversight—effectively creating a ‘cybersecurity’ loophole in all existing privacy laws,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation stated.
But why would companies want to do this? Because under CISPA, they’ll have legal immunity – both civil and criminal – for sharing your data, so there’s no incentive for them to strip out any of your personal details they send to the government.
And it’s not just your personal details the feds could get – they could also grab whatever files you may have stored in an on-line cloud.
On top of all of this, key provisions of CISPA were written “notwithstanding any other law,” meaning CISPA supersedes existing privacy laws all while granting companies the aforementioned legal immunity for sharing your data.
“In other words, CISPA 2015 does not intend to have any real oversight for civil liberties and privacy,” Rachael Tackett of Pirate Times reported. “Cyber threat information shared with the government would also be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and would be a serious blow to transparency in government.”
“CISPA 2015 would provide for an even cozier relationship between Silicon Valley and the U.S. government at the detriment of civil liberties and privacy for everyone else.”
Unfortunately, CISPA may have more momentum this year amid the latest high-profile cyber attacks, all of which were likely conducted by someone other than who the government claimed was responsible.
The government blamed the latest U.S. Central Command hack attack on Islamic State sympathizers, but the hacker group Anonymous traced the attack back to Maryland – home of the National Security Agency.
And the government also blamed North Korea for the Sony Pictures hack, despite overwhelming evidence it was an inside job.