Not to double up on Catherine’s introduction to the issues of web privacy in her recent blog, but after reading it, this Kat thought that the looming U.S. Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) could use a little attention. This Kat assures you that it is getting plenty of attention in the U.S. from the Twitter crowd who killed SOPA just a few short months ago. The bill is certainly not making any friends among internet users.
This Kat would rather dance a tango with a pit bull than get tangled up in the language of the bill that just passed the U.S. House, because there are at least two competing bills in the U.S. Senate, and everybody knows the Senate will work on its own version just to show the House how much smarter they are over at Senate. (And the wheels of politics go ‘round....) But we shall at least paw at the edges.
CISPA authorizes the Director of National Intelligence to establish procedures for “allowing and encouraging” the sharing of information between the private sector and intelligence agencies as it pertains to cyber security concerns. The private entities involved must be “certified,” meaning the U.S. government must feel that the entity is one worthy of receiving government security information. The government’s use of information is limited to the prevention of cybersecurity crimes, national security concerns, or the prevention of death or physical harm, or child pornography or human trafficking.
Certain information (such as library records) is exempt from being shared with the government, and the government does maintain a certain amount of liability for using information in a manner not authorized by the bill.
|Image: Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net|
It is incumbent upon all of us to pay careful attention to how much our governments and our service providers are paying attention to what we do on the internet, if it isn't already too late to control.