CYBER INTELLIGENCE AND INTERNET SPYING: House Passes Draconian Internet Spying Bill
by Tom Burghardt
April 29, 2012
On April 26, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the draconian Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (H.R. 3523 or CISPA) by a vote of 248-168, with 206 Republicans and 42 Democrats voting in favor.
If the legislation passes muster in the Senate and is signed by President Obama (who has threatened a veto, but don’t hold your breath), it would allow private firms–internet service providers (ISPs), telecoms and wireless providers–to hand over personal information about users to law enforcement and security agencies.
This unprecedented power-grab by a cabal of giant corporations and the federal government would take place under the guise of “cybersecurity,” the latest front in the secret state’s assault on Americans’ civil liberties and privacy rights.
While the bill’s sponsors and supporters claim that any “information-sharing” of personal data would be “voluntary,” it would occur without benefit of a warrant or a court order and automatically “exempts such information from public disclosure.”
Denouncing the bill, the ACLU’s Michelle Richardson said that CISPA’s “biggest and most fundamental flaw” is that it empowers “the military, including agencies like the NSA, to collect the internet records of Americans’ everyday internet use.”
CISPA is the latest in a series of repressive measures that have incrementally rolled-back the Bill of Rights since 1995’s Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 terrorist provocations. Under successive Democratic and Republican administrations fundamental constitutional protections, specifically those guaranteed by the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, have been gutted.