"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
Last week while Americans were focused mainly on the disasters in Boston, MA and West, TX. The U.S. House voted 288-127 to pass the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, better known by its acronym CISPA. CISPA is aimed to preventing cyber attacks but could it be infringing on your 4th amendment rights?
Proponents of CISPA say this bill would make it easier to detect a cyber attack before it became an issue or prevent them altogether They cite recent cyber attacks by North Korea(DPRK) and even China as reason for CISPA. Others say it could even help gather intel to help prevent future terror attacks.
"In the case of Boston, there were real bombs...In this case, they are digital bombs – and these digital bombs are on their way." -Mike McCaul, House Republican from Texas
The question is it worth cost?
Opponents of the bill say its going too far in the name of security. Saying that it tramples your 4th amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. They may have a valid argument here. Under CISPA private companies like Facebook and Google would be able to send all your personal information to government agencies such as the NSA or even the FBI if they saw fit. This includes all Internet activity: Websites visited, health records, financial records and even your bank account. All of this without a warrant. Which does violate your 4th amendment rights.
Anonymous, the cyber "hacktavist" group has called for an Internet blackout on Monday April 22. It is calling for websites owners and web developers to black out their websites for the entire day. This was done before when CISPA and its sister legislation SOPA were making the rounds in 2011. Will it have a similar effect?
In 2011 this same bill past the house, but after a massive uproar with the American public the Senate shelved the bill.
So back to the question is it worth the cost? Should give up our personal liberties to prevent the possibilities of cyber attacks? Many seem to think so. Just look at the post 9/11 Patriot Act as precedent.
On the other hand this kind of law could lead to even more Censorship something this writer is strictly against. So if you do not like the idea of the government "warrantlessly" gathering all your personal Internet information call your senators ASAP. Let them know you do not support this bill and they will lose your support in their next election.