Meet CISPA, the wired NSA agent to SOPA’s copyright cop.
CISPA makes it easier for private companies to share information about cybersecurity threats with civilian agencies like the NSA, while removing some of the requirements that certain personal information be redacted. President Obama threatened to veto it today.
The new cybersecurity bill enjoys, unlike SOPA, the broad support of tech companies like Google:
The reason for the difference in support is that SOPA was a much stronger bill with new authority to filter content and take down websites, and it included tampering with the Domain Name System, part of the fundamental structure of the internet. CISPA is voluntary, and all references to intellectual property in the original bill were eliminated to appease critics.
The bill will not, as House Speaker John Boehner claims, stimulate the economy or create jobs, but at least on its face, the rationale makes sense. NJ quotes Boehner from a commentary in Investor’s Business Daily:
“The private sector owns and operates most of the networks under assault. So instead of imposing new mandates, or having government agencies monitor or police private networks, [CISPA] helps private-sector job creators defend themselves and their users,” he wrote.
“The House is already on record here; we voted last year to stop federal bureaucrats from regulating the Internet,” he wrote. “The government has no business monitoring or regulating what you do online.”
Which begs the question, then why is the government already presume the authority to monitor what we do online? Wired’s exclusive last month on the frightening new complex going up in the Utah desert to collect and decrypt the communications of ordinary Americans demonstrates clearly that the cybersecurity gurus of the NSA are not especially discerning or respectful of the privacy of individuals’ personal data.
Check out this editorial in Wired by Mercatus’ Jerry Brito and Tate Watkins about the cybersecurity-industrial complex and how, just like the war hawks, they manage to get whatever they ask for.