CISPA is back and this time it’s loaded with additional 4th amendment violations to make it easier to catch the next Edward Snowden. The new bill is called The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014 (‘CISA’) and it will hit the floor of the Senate next week. The Republican Liberty Caucus is part of a bipartisan coalition of groups concerned about civil liberties and committed to preserving the constitution which are committed to stopping this legislation.
According to the ACLU:
“The bill would create a massive loophole in our existing privacy laws by allowing the government to ask companies for ‘voluntary’ cooperation in sharing information, including the content of our communications, for cybersecurity purposes. But the definition they are using for the so-called ‘cybersecurity information’ is so broad it could sweep up huge amounts of innocent Americans’ personal data.
“The Fourth Amendment protects Americans’ personal data and communications from undue government access and monitoring without suspicion of criminal activity. The point of a warrant is to guard that protection. CISA would circumvent the warrant requirement by allowing the government to approach companies directly to collect personal information, including telephonic or internet communications, based on the new broadly drawn definition of ‘cybersecurity information.’”
We know from past experience the chilling effect which these ‘voluntary’ government programs have. Companies feel threatened and become overly cooperative and your data becomes incredibly vulnerable. This allows the government to get away with gross violations of you privacy and security without any search warrant or due process of law.
The government is not protecting your interests. They should be writing laws to provide additional security for your online communications making clear that the 4th amendment applies to them, not building a loophole to stop whistleblowers.
The Obama administration if not our friend on this so we need to stop it dead in the Senate. The ACLU points out that “The Obama Administration has brought more ‘leaks’ prosecutions against government whistleblowers and members of the press than all previous administrations combined…If misused by this or future administrations, CISA could eliminate due process protections for such investigations, which already favor the prosecution.”
We urge you to write your Senators. Click on the link below to go to the online tool for that purpose. Thanks to RLC Texas for getting us the text for this article.