Godfather Politics – 4/19/2013 – Tad Cronn
After two days of debate this week, the House passed CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, by a vote of 288-127, with 18 abstaining. The legislation would allow the federal government to engage private sector firms — think Google — in the business of monitoring your emails, postings and user data for nebulous “threat information” which would then be shared “voluntarily” without need for any sort of warrant.
The IRS and other federal agencies already have policies in place stating their belief that they are allowed to waltz through your data anytime they please, so CISPA seems primarily crafted to protect the Facebooks, Twitters, Yahoos, Sprints and other electronic communications businesses from legal reprisals.
All of this data will go into one big federal system — probably the one built by the National Security Agency in
— and be shared across networks that will search for correlations. Salt Lake City
CISPA also would amend the National Security Act to allow the feds to share classified information with entities and individuals who do not have a security clearance.
The Fourth Amendment restricts (or used to restrict) what the federal government can do in criminal investigations: “THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO BE SECURE IN THEIR PERSONS, HOUSES, PAPERS, AND EFFECTS, AGAINST UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES, SHALL NOT BE VIOLATED, AND NO WARRANTS SHALL ISSUE, BUT UPON PROBABLE CAUSE, SUPPORTED BY OATH OR AFFIRMATION, AND PARTICULARLY DESCRIBING THE PLACE TO BE SEARCHED, AND THE PERSONS OR THINGS TO BE SEIZED.”
What it does not protect you from is private companies that you’ve entrusted with your information mining that data for their own purposes. CISPA lets the feds get around the Fourth Amendment by engaging private firms and individuals to do their dirty work.
These firms and the government are allowed under CISPA to cooperate in this data exchange for purposes of ill-defined “cybersecurity.”
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