“When truth is replaced by silence,the silence is a lie.”
- Yevgeny Yevtushenko
Around the 1950s, along with the development of electronic computers, the concept of the Internet was first introduced. The creation of the Internet was able to build a foundation for a more connected society that internet users are familiar with today, which includes the use of the e-mail system on MSN, the search bar engines on Google, and/or the enjoyment of playing with a friend a thousand miles away from the comfort of a gamer’s home on League of Legends at the very same time, all while listening to his/her voice in real-time on Skype. The freedom to do all of these activities is in the comfort of a user’s home with his/her own privacy.. However, until recently on November 30th, 2011, U.S Representative Michael Rogers proposed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) that would allow “.. private business share information about cybersecurity threats with one another and with the U.S federal government” (Fitzpatrick 2013). Although it may seem that the protection of American citizens are of the highest priority, CISPA would make it so that there would be no consent from the actual users in allowing these various private business sectors, such as Microsoft and Facebook, from taking personal information about their clients and giving it to the government. The controversy arises when Facebook can and will “.. give the federal government user’s private communications and other sensitive personal data” (Fitzpatrick 2013). CISPA would allow the government to receive and respond to various cyber-threats that “.. will give the government better situational awareness” (Biesecker 2012). By ‘situational awareness’, the reference is towards the fact that China and Russia have “consistently target[ed] American businesses with malicious cyber attacks, looking to exploit private corporate information” (Lamborn 2012). By being able to create a more tight knit system with CISPA, it allows the federal government to track down these attacks from future
1 attacks and digital pillage of information. Hypothetically, though, CISPA would provide free reign over anything an American computer user posts onto the internet - including e-mails, Facebook posts, blogs, etc. - all without the user actually acknowledging in order to narrow down sources of the various threats should they appear. The idea and concept of CISPA is all for the benefits of the American community and the ability to protect America’s citizens; however, the fact that “.. the bill lacks strong, proper legal checks” (Romm 2013) to prevent CISPA from allowing internet users from virtually rendering themselves defenseless without general protection from internet privacy. Many lawmakers believe that CISPA would grant the “.. government too easy access to Americans’ private information” (Romm 2013). The ability to have a say on what is shared and what is kept solely on the databases of technological companies, such as Facebook, would basically be nonexistent. The acceptance of CISPA require multiple steps before becoming an act.
In order for the bill to become a law, the introduced bill must first be debated on and vote for or against the bill. Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) Bill that was approved by the House of Representatives, leading to the Senate for addition approval. Earlier last year, after the “revision” of CISPA, it passed the House and was then moved to the Senate to be further debated upon. Although CISPA and its supporters state that the government and companies, such as Google and Microsoft, would be able to “.. easily share threat information with companies” (Masnick 2013). The fact to keep in mind is that both Google and Microsoft hold the keys to the one of the largest network of users in the world, which 1.5-2