April 23, 2012 3:09 AM Subscribe
posted by jeffburdges (79 comments total)
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The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act
) is a controversial
surveillance bill that proposes broad legal exemptions
for the U.S. government and private companies to share "cyber threat intelligence" that go well beyond the FISA Amendments Act
which legalized the NSA's warrantless wiretapping
The EFF has observed that CISPA undermines "established [privacy] laws like the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act [that] prevent companies from routinely monitoring private communications" by "creating a broad immunity against both civil and criminal liability".
Any information obtained under these legal exemptions for cybersecurity is then explicitly permitted to be used for all other law enforcement purposes
, potentially including copyright enforcement and censoring whistleblowers
In addition, CISPA has provisions allowing companies to take "countermeasures" on behalf of "cybersecurity purposes", which the EFF has labeled "ripe for abuse". They fear such purposes could include blocking websites, disrupting privacy tools like Tor
, disrupting peer-to-peer technologies, or distributing spyware
Finally, CISPA creates a two year statute of limitations for suing the government and collaborating companies over privacy violations, potentially too short for the violation to even come to light, much less survive a legal challenge.
CISPA's corporate supporters
includes not only the telecoms who collaborated with the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program and defense contractors involved in intelligence work, but also many tech companies who helped defeat SOPA/PIPA, like Facebook
and perhaps Google
. These companies would gain the ability to sell their user data to government agencies and benefit from increased protections against lawsuits for privacy violations. In consequence, CISPA creator Mike Rogers (R-MI) has described protests against CISPA as "turbulence on .. landing"