Friday, April 27, 2012
New bill threatening U.S. privacy rights passes U.S. House
While the first attempt to violate privacy rights of Americans called SOPA was withdrawn, it has now come back as CISPA( Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act). Opponents have already called it SOPA2. The new act was supposed to address concerns expressed by critics of the first bill.
Not only does the new bill not solve those concerns an amendment actually makes the new bill broader in its application. A large number of organizations and individuals oppose the bill. See this site and also here.
The bill passed in the house by a vote of 248 to 168, not even close. The bill will now go to the senate. There needs to be a lot more opposition before the bill will be withdrawn again. Although the bill strengthens information sharing it also encourages the intelligence community to collect more information on U.S. citizens whenever they think this could possibly enhance national security.Critics expected this new bill to reduce the authority to snoop and to make companies liable for illegally providing the government with information. An amendment did not do this but actually broadened grounds that government could use to collect information.
The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) condemned passage of the bill and expects that by the time the bill reaches the Senate there will be more popular opposition. Although there is no date for the bill to be debated in Senate, some fear that the bill might be quickly introduced and debated to avoid scrutiny. For more see this article