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How the NSA Scandal Can Bring Back CISPA


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Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, the man who is supposed to take the reins of the National Security Agency, may have just ruined the efforts of advocacy groups everywhere by nudging US lawmakers to revive CISPA.


It’s not exactly the first time that cybersecurity bills have gone through the Congress, but the White House has always stepped in and killed the projects before they could damage anything.

Now, however, Rogers has testified in front of the Congress and has suggested that real-time sharing of cyber threat information can be approached differently, on two lanes, which would be consistent with the country’s efforts to protect the privacy and civil liberties of US citizens, as ZDNet reported.

Basically, in a way, he brings CISPA back into discussion and backs this particular bill. Unfortunately for everyone else, his word may weight in quite a bit, especially since he’s supposed to take on the leading role at the National Security Agency, a government agency that should be protecting national security.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has already been working on a piece of legislation that borrows a lot from CISPA and has announced that it is very close to wrapping it up. The additional support is certainly welcome and if the White House doesn’t intervene again, chances are the new CISPA will become a reality, affecting all Internet users’ privacy.

CISPA and the NSA

It wasn’t all that long ago when CISPA, SOPA and PIPA were on everyone’s lips. All these laws have in common the fact that they seek to change something when it comes to the digital world, be it online piracy or cyberattacks.

While this may not sound all that terrible, it’s the consequences of adopting such laws that bother people. It’s not the main purpose of the projects that annoy so many, but how these would affect the way the Internet works and, more importantly, user privacy.

CISPA, for its part, proposed to allow the sharing of Internet traffic information between the United States government and technology and manufacturing companies, seeking on the surface to investigate cyber threats and make sure that networks are secure against cyberattacks.

In depth, however, this would allow the United States to play the role of Big Brother, looking over Internet traffic under the pretense of cybersecurity, thus killing privacy. Of course, this was before it was revealed that the National Security Agency already helped the country play that very same role, albeit in an extremely hidden manner.

Basically, many of those opposing CISPA back in the day used very similar phrases to those you can hear nowadays from opposers of the National Security Agency’s efforts to infiltrate everyone’s private lives without making any difference between criminals and innocent people.

The idea that data should be collected in bulk just because it may contain some vital information with no concern to individual privacy seems to be increasingly common among US lawmakers and state agencies, despite nation-wide protests and international displeasure with such actions.

Basic human rights seem to matter very little to these people. Even worse, while US citizens may get some sort of protection from the Constitution (although not even that’s a guarantee anymore), the rest of the world is doomed.

Adding some sort of protection for non-US citizens has been discussed in recent months in the context of the NSA scandal, but nothing has been done in this direction and US lawmakers may as well have scoffed at the idea.

Reviving CISPA is a terrible idea. Even if it comes under a different name, the problems remain the same. While the United States may be relinquishing some of its control over the Internet, it seems like it’s trying to make sure it compensates by making its nosiness legal.


Edited by F3dupsk1Nup
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