In the week that lawmakers will vote on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CIPSA), Presidential candidate Ron Paul has slammed the legislation in an effort to raise public awareness of the dangers the bill poses to the free and open internet.
“CISPA is essentially an Internet monitoring bill that permits both the federal government and private companies to view your private online communications with no judicial oversight, provided, of course, that they do so in the name of cyber security,” Paul notes in his weekly Texas Straight Talk address.
“The bill is very broadly written and allows the Department of Homeland Security to obtain large swabs of personal information contained in your email or other online communications,” Paul urges.
“It also allows email and other private information found online to be used for purposes far beyond any reasonable definition of fighting cyber terrorism.”
Both the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) have noted that CISPA effectively legislates for monitoring and collecting online communications without the knowledge of the parties concerned and funneling them directly to the National Security Agency or the DOD’s Cybercommand.
In the past few days, the bill has attracted several new sponsors, bringing the number of CISPA co-sponsors to 112 members of Congress, up from 106 at the end of last month.
While the legislation has undergone some revision in the past few weeks, the core of the bill remains the same, prompting even the White House to issue a warning on the privacy implications for Americans.
“We should never underestimate the federal government’s insatiable desire to control the Internet,” Ron Paul notes.
“CISPA represents an alarming form of corporatism as it further intertwines governments with companies like Google and Facebook,” continues the congressman. “It permits them to hand over your private communications to government officials without a warrant, circumventing the well-known established federal laws like the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.”
“It also grants them broad immunity from lawsuits for doing so, leaving you for without recourse for invasion of privacy,” he adds.
Paul calls a “Big Brother writ” that cuts into “the resources of the private industry to work for the nefarious purpose of spying on the American people.”
“We can only hope the American people will respond to CISPA as they did with SOPA back in January,” concludes the congressman.
Listen to Ron Paul’s important update below:
This week will see up to four pieces of cybersecurity legislation reviewed in Congress, leading sections of the media to dub it “Cyber week”.
Aside from CISPA, the other bills up for review include the DATA Act sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act sponsored by Rep. Michael McCaul’s (R-Texas), and a computer technology research and development bill from Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas).
Article written by Steve Watson
April 23, 2012