Why CISPA sucks and what you can do about it

Want to stop private companies from sharing your personal information with Uncle Sam? Better hope that CISPA doesn't pass.

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… we recognize that a number of privacy and civil liberties groups have raised concerns about the bill – in particular about provisions that enable private companies to voluntarily share cyber threat data with the government. The concern is that companies will share sensitive personal information with the government in the name of protecting cybersecurity. Facebook has no intention of doing this and it is unrelated to the things we liked about HR 3523 in the first place -- the additional information it would provide us about specific cyber threats to our systems and users. [emphasis in original]

Let me translate: Yes, CISPA may suck but it does things we want, so we’re behind it. And besides, you can trust us, can’t you?

The notion that our only protection against rampant cyberspying is to trust Facebook not to share our personal information with the Feds should be enough to convince you just how truly sucky CISPA is.

Just to be clear: Sharing information about legitimate cyber threats is a good idea. Using cyber threats to give a blank check to corporations so they can bypass our Constitutional rights? Not a good idea.

What can you do about it? Educate your local Congressional representatives about the Internet. Sign online petitions (like the ones here and here). Tweet your concerns. Tell Facebook’s Kaplan to take that blog post and stuff it where the CISPA doesn’t shine. Bang on pots and pans. Complain, loudly and incessantly. 

In short, Occupy the Internet.

And hope somebody in DC comes to what few senses they have remaining and amends this bill into something we all can live with or dumps it entirely. Before it’s too late.

Got a question about social media? TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan may have the answer (and if not, he’ll make something up). Visit his snarky, occasionally NSFW blog eSarcasm or follow him on Twitter: @tynan_on_tech. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-to’s, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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