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CISPA
Graphic and opinion by Wil Levins

What concerns me about CISPA (The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) is the drastic increase of the Federal Government's authority to gather and share information about us without our knowledge or consent.  If CISPA is passed in its current form it would grant sweeping authority to intelligence agencies, setting the stage for the real potential of abuse by invading our privacy and violating our individual rights.

Proponents of CISPA have made the argument that this act is designed to provide our nation's intelligence community with the means to protect the American People from internet safety threats - both foreign and domestic.   So the whole "If you have done nothing wrong than you have nothing to fear" explanation comes into play.  However, as common-sense as that explanation may sound, what I believe these good intentioned legislators fail to realize is a) once power is created it is very hard to take back and b) this authority will be used by current and future bureaucrats as they see fit.  Without very specific guidelines and safeguards to our civil liberties, threat identification can become as arbitrary as viewing beauty:  it's in the eye of the beholder.

The most important questions to keep in mind about CISPA  are:  how will civil liberties be protected and who will judge the legal evidence to substantiate a "just cause"  behind decisions to invade an individual's privacy.  In standard police practices, a warrant must be obtained from a judge before a search can be conducted and will only be granted after showing " just cause."  Without such restraints, the power to do good can easily become the power to do harm.

RELATED CATEGORY: ON POINT

 

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