Surveilling CISPA

Surveilling CISPA: CC licence DonkeyHoteySurveilling CISPA: CC licence DonkeyHoteyI wrote a story about surveillance efforts by the UK authorities lately. It seems that snooping communications (emails, text messaging, etc) is in vogue. Citizens in the US are putting up a huge fight against a new ‘cybersecurity’ bill called Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA.

Last week was a particularly busy one in the fight against the bill, which opponents say «would gut all existing privacy laws». The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has even put together a Week of Action, Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul and his free market followers have put out statements opposing the bill and the White House even had to nuance its official stand on CISPA.

Introduced in the US House of representatives on November 30, 2011, CISPA has “internet users voicing their concerns with how the bill allows companies to spy on users, filter content, and transfer personal information to agencies like the National Security Agency.”

Here at the Association for progressive communications, we’re running the Connect Your Rights! campaign, in which we try to make the point that internet-related rights ARE human rights. When major bills like CISPA are introduced in democratic spaces such as the House of Reps in the USA, we sense from our member groups on the ground – in northern but mostly countries from the southern hemisphere – that moves like this are a direct threat to their work and efforts to defend civil liberties on the internet. We could burry our heads in the ground but the truth of the matter is that legislation in the UK and the US have an immediate impact on legislation in other jurisdictions.

This is why we will keep ‘surveilling CISPA’ as part of our Connect Your Rights! campaign. But for now, read the full critique and systematic analysis of CISPA that the dedicated team at the EFF have prepared. A very well-made Q&A it is.