It is somehow appropriate that this activity in congress coincides with the release of the new, remake, Three Stooges movie. You'll see.
After the public and many internet and tech companies shot down the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) has introduced and sponsored a bill called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).
If you are somehow thought to be a cybersecurity threat, or engaged in IP theft (Intellectual Property theft), CISPA does not force entities (such as Facebook, ISPs, etc) to hand over info. about your activities, but it does allow these entities to cooperate with Homeland Security to whatever extent the entity chooses, completely without regard for your rights.
The companies are also free to send your information, emails, etc., to each other if they think you may be a "cybersecurity threat," or engaged in intellectual property theft.
Here is a quote from the CNET article linked, below, to whet your appetite, and probably turn your stomach. Note that they are again trying to completely eliminate any rights you have to privacy on-line. And, further, they are again trying to use the cover of national security protection to hide the fact that the bill also covers intellectual property theft.
So, say the government thought you were discussing a cybersecurity threat or IP theft -- such as illegal file sharing somehow related to cybersecurity -- on Facebook. The bill would not force Facebook to hand you over to the feds, yet CISPA does make it so that Facebook will be completely unrestricted (say, by your rights) to cooperate with Homeland Security to the fullest extent.
The so-called "cybersecurity bill" lets the US government into any online communication if it believes there is reason to suspect cyber crime, or a threat of intellectual property theft. The bill defines "cybersecurity systems" and "cyber threat information" as anything related to protecting networks from:
'(A) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or '(B) theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information.
"Cybersecurity" is not actually defined in the bill.
Similar to SOPA, CISPA guts citizens' online privacy protections but even more, it allows the US government to use Internet companies to access, intercept or stop the digital communications and online activity of any person - "for cybersecurity purposes."
Like SOPA, the bill tries to lump IP theft (and the threat of intellectual property theft) into the definitions of criminal cybersecurity protection.
The CNET article contains a link to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's page has a tool that will help you contact your local congressman. There is also a link to a .pdf of CISPA itself.CNET article on CISPA, click here.
Please let Moe (John McCain, the senate sponsor of the senate's version of CISPA, the SECURE IT Act), and Larry (Rep. Rogers) know you won't stand for this complete elimination of our rights to a reasonable expectation of online privacy.