Please note that this is not complete. I just started on this prior to the blog announcement and will be updating this throughout the day.
Well here we are again. We knew it was coming but most of did not suspect it would come so soon. It hasn’t even been five months since the worldwide PIPA & SOPA protests and Congress is back to playing its standard game of slashing and burning what we hold most important for the sake of their personal agendas. The bills of PIPA & SOPA are effectively dead, but their text is being broken up into pieces and has been put into other bills and what they represent lives on. I do not want to alarm you, the person reading thing, but you should starring long and hard at what is going on right now. We are on the precipice of something horrible happening and if we do not fight again, we will lose horribly and our personal freedoms will be maimed and impacted far beyond what we can see as the initial impact:
As of today this is where we stand:
- SOPA (The Stop Online Piracy Act) is effectively dead
- PIPA (The PROTECT IP Act) is effectively dead
- CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) has passed the House of Representatives with 248 yes, 168 no, and 15 abstained votes.
- Cybersecurity Act 2012
- SECURE IT Act.
- PRECISE Act
Currently there are four bills in Congress that stand to wipe away the privacy, the anonymity, and the freedom we take advantage of every day. If any one of these bills makes it through Congress the internet as we know it is effectively over. This is a zero sum situation and we have to act again.
Let us begin with CISPA:
- Even with Rogers’ Amendments, CISPA is Still a Surveillance Bill
- By including the word “notwithstanding,” CISPA’s drafters intended to make their legislation trump all existing federal and state civil and criminal laws. It would render irrelevant wiretap laws, Web companies’ privacy policies, educational record laws, medical privacy laws, and more.
- Cyber Intelligence Bill Threatens Privacy and Civilian Control
- How The Expansive Immunity Clauses in CISPA Will Facilitate Abuse of User Privacy
- What is CISPA and how it affects you FAQ
- Four things to know about CISPA
- Congress Braces for Battle over Cybersecurity Bill (Mention of Freedom of Information Act Implications)
- Companies and Agencies already share essential information. Why is CISPA needed?
- The Political Effects of Conflating Separate Meanings of “Cybersecurity”
Next up is the Cybersecurity Act of 2012:
- Cybersecurity Act May Challenge Public’s Right to Know
- The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 is a fix for a problem that was never a problem.
- Does The Cybersecurity Act Of 2012 Mark The Beginning Of The War On Cyber-terrorism?
- Administration pushes against bipartisan House cybersecurity legislation
Now we move onto the SECURE IT Act:
- McCain cybersecurity bill aims for legal frameworks, updates, not structural changes
- White House pans GOP cybersecurity bill
- McCain, GOP Leaders Intro Cybersecurity Bill Alternative
- Senators Clash Over Cybersecurity Legislation
- Senate cybersecurity bill leaves Internet alone, exempts tech companies from oversight
Last but not least we have the PRECISE ACT:
A Comparison Analysis of the Four Current Bills:
- An image comparing SOPA & CISPA
- CDT: Cybersecurity Bill Comparison Chart
- CDT: Analysis of Senate Cybersecurity Bills 2012.
- EFF: Four Unanswered Questions About the Cybersecurity Bills
- Comparing the Senate Cybersecurity Liability Provisions
As it stands now, days after the House of Representatives passed CISPA, we are poised with the questions of: Who, what, where, and why? While many of the answers to those questions can be found in the links posted above the biggest reason as to why major companies like Google, Facebook, and even reddit have not spoken out vehemently against these bills is simple. They actually stand to benefit from them in some ways. CISPA was crafted from the ground up, with the help of some of these very major tech companies and the NSA, so the debacle of SOPA & PIPA wouldn’t happen again. Instead of having to fight against companies and their users they now just have to worry about your average joe getting upset. Doing this paints a much smaller target on the bill and makes it that much more challenging for us to prevent the abuses that are poised to come from CISPA and the additional ‘cybersecurity’ bills.
Many are calling for blackouts again but unfortunately Congress is trying a new and incredibly effective strategy this time. They are dividing us from the companies that assisted us last time. In the language of CISPA it has been found, cut and dry, that most companies will be given immunity from what goes on within their enterprises so long as they hand over your information en mass. This means that your user profile, your personal information, your comment history, the websites you link to, and even possibly what you like of Facebook and similar websites will be handed over to the government. To make matters even worse, the government will essentially bribe these companies by paying them to hand over the data. Congress did something cunningly smart, they made it so the only allies the common user has are themselves. Reddit INC as a company has no good reason to speak up loudly in support like they did with PIPA & SOPA. The reason is that they actually come to benefit from CISPA.
/r/ExplainItLikeImFive puts it nicely:
We must not, we cannot, allow these companies to ever believe that that selling out the user and throwing them under the bus can be part of their business model. It must be a concrete, inseparable, fact that our interests are the companies interest. You and I stood up and fought in the ways that we could to protect these companies like Google, Facebook, even Reddit INC from PIPA & SOPA. They need to do their damnedest to do the same for us. The ridiculously overused saying by pastor Martin Niemöller best fits here:
First they came for the communists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.
- CISPA Critics Warn Cybersecurity Bill Will Increase Domestic Surveillance and Violate Privacy Rights (21.1)
- The Net Delusion: The Dark Side Of Internet Freedom (9)
- Whistleblower: The NSA is Lying – US Government Has Copies of Most of Your Emails (6.9)
- “We Don’t Live in a Free Country”: Jacob Appelbaum on Being Target of Widespread Gov’t Surveillance (6.4)
- Cracking the Digital Vault: A Study of Cyber Espionage (6.2)