We don’t tend to get overly political here at Tekgoblin for the obvious reason that we aren’t into Politics, however there is something very important going on that may very well change the way we look at our Anonymity (or lack there of) on the internet.
CISPA; which stands for Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act was passed by the House of Representatives after moving the voting from today to yesterday, the House voting in favor of its passage with a vote of 248-168. While there are threats being thrown around, like President Obama ‘promising’ to Veto the bill and countless amounts of internet protests boycotting supporters, there is one important detail, this doesn’t just affect those who use the internet heavily, it also affects just the typical individual who might only use facebook, check e-mail and go on their bank accounts.
If the government suspects you are a genuine “bad guy”, they can already seize all of this online activity information about you. It’s called obtaining a warrant. CISPA does away with that. It supercedes ALL existing federal privacy laws. As Techdirt’s Leigh Beadon put it, “Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all.Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government’s power.”
That means that if you are a target of the government (or do something to catch their eye) they can pull up and keep information on you from any website that has your information, banks, social media, forums, porn..etc. The thing I find scariest above all else is how this works in junction with already shady laws recently passed. As David Seaman from Business Insider put it; “…This President, and all future Presidents, now have the ability to order the U.S. military to imprison American citizens, without trial nor access to an attorney.”
For those wondering what they can do, Reddit has been nice enough to make a list of ways to get in contact with your Representative and also a list of companies who are in favor of CISPA which can be found here.