CISPA Threatens Our Online Freedom: Heads to Senate Despite Obama Veto Threat

ThreThose Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ privacy settings might not leave us with even the slightest feeling of protection anymore. The Cyber Information & Protection Act (CISPA) made it through the House last night, with a bipartisan vote behind it. If passed, the bill would allow the government to oversee our online profiles, and postings, in the name of domestic security.

Supporters of the bill argue it will deter online hacking on private networks, which according to the New York Daily News, was a problem reported more than 50,000 times since last October. It would also make cyber threat information to America easier to find.

The bill brings two unlikely partners together, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and President Obama. On Thursday, Boehner criticized the government’s desire to “set standards,” and “take care of everything that’s needed for cybersecurity.” Obama has threatened to veto the bill.

CISPA poses more of a threat than previous bills, like January’s SOPA, because it aims to do more than reinforce copyright, and catch online pirates. PC Magazine reports that the bill’s language is so broad that it could attack whistleblower sites like WikiLeaks. But, aside from controversial sites like WikiLeaks, MSNBC reports that general social networking sites like Facebook approve of CISPA.

The bill remains questionable as it moves to the Senate. Sen. Joe Liberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) already deem it an inadequate approach to combating cyberattacks.

With cyber security bills, it always takes the public a moment to realize the significant risks that come with powerful legislation. In the wake of SOPA, Wikipedia blacked out its site as a sign of protest. CISPA might just seem like a bill for now, but in the long run, we might one day be considered a threat to America for simply Googling it. 

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Andrea Ordonez

Andrea is a journalism major and political science minor at Hofstra University. A Texas native, she works as the managing editor of The Hofstra Chronicle, and as music producer of Gone Country on WRHU FM New York. Any time left away from the station or newsroom is spent watching old episodes of The Big Bang Theory or Sunday Night Football.

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