Did Congress Really Not Pay Attention To What Happened With SOPA? CISPA Ignorance Is Astounding
from the again-and-again dept
We recently wrote about how HR 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act -- or CISPA -- is an incredibly bad bill that would basically make it much, much easier for the government to spy on all sorts of private communications. The bill already has over 100 sponsors, some of whom were on the right side of SOPA, but seem to have gone astray here. The concern over CISPA has been growing rapidly and the netroots are speaking out and warning Congress that this is a bill they do not want.
And yet... Congress still appears ready to move forward with CISPA the week of April 23rd. And the amazing (no, astounding) thing is that many politicians in Congress have no idea that people are up in arms over this yet. In talking to different people on Capitol Hill, the story is along the lines of "oh, is there some controversy over this?" Like SOPA early on, it appears that Congress simply takes for granted that if you call something one thing (whether it's "stopping piracy" or "protecting cybersecurity") no one will bother looking at the details to realize just how problematic the bill actually is.
But this is a bad, bad bill, which effectively will lead to significant spying on internet usage and private communications by the government with little to no oversight -- and that includes not just domestic law enforcement, but military spying as well. The whole thing is absolutely crazy (especially when there are less onerous bills that are much more sensible).
The truly amazing part to me is the fact that politicians in Congress would simply think that there's no problem making massive internet regulatory change without actually looking at the impact on ordinary users and how they feel about it so soon after SOPA. It seems clear that many elected officials still haven't received the message that politicians should not be mucking with the internet when they clearly don't understand it.