Back on January 18th, 2012, we joined much of the Internet in a massive blackout protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the "anti-piracy" bill that would have become a massive affront to civil rights both domestically and abroad. Now, in repeat effort, a new measure has been proposed: The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a horrific piece of legislation that will completely and entirely annihilate your privacy online. Literally, this law deems electronic communications less constitutionally protected than physical ones.
So how did we get to this point? Soon following the PATRIOT Act, an AT&T technician Mark Klein revealed in 2006 the existence of AT&T government-intercept room 641A in the San Francisco SBC Communications Internet backbone trunk room. This intercept room provided unnamed government entities unfettered access to anything transmitted through the facility (an estimated 10-20 such facilities exist through the nation). The discovery of this room led to two lawsuits: a class-action lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) against AT&T, and EFF-led Jewel v. NSA. The lawsuits were eventually forcibly dropped during active hearings due to the passage of the retroactive protections of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 -- a law crafted, passed, and signed by President Bush in under ONE MONTH to prevent the establishment of judicial precedence or revelation of how deep the warrantless wiretapping went. With the upcoming existence of new spying and storage facilities, CISPA aims to not only further codify the protections of FISAAA 2008, but to further expand the warrantless wiretapping abilities of the government, and the protections for corporations that feed it data.
In a surprise to absolutely nobody, the Republican-majority United States House of Representatives forced the passage of CISPA through the House on April 18, 2013 -- 227 Yea to 192 Nay. The Obama Administration has already threatened veto of CISPA, but in true U.S. political fashion, if this law passes the Senate it will absolutely guaranteed be forced into some "must pass" legislation much like NDAA 2012, the PATRIOT Act extension, the Monsanto Protection Act, and others before it.
Almost every year (or sometimes twice or thrice a year), we the people of the United States, and indeed the rest of the world, are faced with these egregious attacks on privacy. The politicians pushing for these traitorous laws do so every year in hopes that we will grow bored of protesting and eventually just quietly accept the inevitable.
WE MUST NOT BACK DOWN.EVER!
Contact United States Senators, tell them to VOTE NO on CISPA! Do not stop, not even for one day, until this law is defeated. Everyone's online privacy, especially yours, depends on it.