Stop CISPA now

Congress replaced SOPA with something even worse: CISPA.

Daily Editorial Board

After a public outrage in response to the Stop Online Privacy Act, which was shot down, Congress has come back with an even worse plan: the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. CISPA, like SOPA, violates online privacy and rights.

The new act is dangerous because it allows Internet companies to share private records and communication of individuals with the government or law enforcement agencies. Even worse, big Internet-related companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Intel support the bill because it removes their liability for cyber security and puts it on the government.

Without the backing of these large companies, it’s harder to fight against CISPA. Major websites like Google and Wikipedia stood against SOPA through a blackout. CISPA is not receiving the same type of backlash from companies because of the removed liability.

As of Tuesday evening, about 760,000 people had signed an anti-CISPA petition. President Barack Obama’s administration has voiced its opposition, though it has not vowed to veto the bill if Congress passes it. Presidential candidate Ron Paul has said “CISPA encourages … internet companies to act as government spies, sowing distrust of social media and chilling communications.” Despite the strong opposition, the act is moving along to a vote this week. With major Internet companies supporting the bill, Congress is close to forcing through its replacement for SOPA.

Those who are concerned with online privacy should be outraged about CISPA. Individuals around the world are reacting negatively. Minnesotans and students at the University of Minnesota should also take a stand against CISPA while we still can. In order to save our privacy from government, CISPA must be stopped.