U.S. Congressional Attempts at legislating the digital realm were stunted back in January by widespread protests of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) — measures that sought to prevent online piracy. Even still, efforts live on in the most recent House Resolution — the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) — which passed the House of Representatives by a margin of 248 to 168 on Friday.
In sum, CISPA seeks to grant Internet companies permission to share personal user information with federal authorities in the name of preventing or halting breaches in cybersecurity. Seems reasonable enough at first glance. But, as Declan McCullagh reported for CNET, “…it would usher in a new era of information sharing between companies and government agencies — with limited oversight and privacy safeguards.”
Unlike the anti-SOPA and PIPA movements, which saw online giants like Facebook and Wikipedia leading the charge, the passage of CISPA is widely supported by Internet companies. And this is where your online privacy becomes a factor.
Even if you are well versed in the intricacies of protecting your online identity and privacy, a piece of legislation like CISPA has the potential to compromise your autonomy when it comes to shared information between Internet companies and government authorities.
Educate yourself about CISPA and gauge where you stand on the issue.