In President Barack Obama’s words, from the 2013 State of the Union Address..
“America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. We know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private e-mail. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.
That’s why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy. Now, Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks.”
At first glance, this looks fine. Cyber attacks are a real threat, and defenses need to be there. But the nature and scope of these defenses, and their invasive, vague language is a big problem. CISPA would allow private companies, intelligence firms and homeland security a way to freely share private user information. If the information is deemed a “cyber threat” it can be shared with impunity. As if it wasn’t enough for every American to have their online activities recorded since 9/11 via the NSA. CISPA goes further and removes any legal problems a third party business or intelligence agency could run into for sharing information with the government. So for our own protection, Americans will have absolutely no privacy online. Once again the rights of the people are trampled over by the government, all based on fear.
I see a big gap between what the President says, and what’s going on behind the scenes. The U.S. government has hounded whistleblowers like Bradley Manning and Wikileaks, for revealing America’s true colors. They would deem whistleblowers as “cyber threats”, and with the passage of CISPA it would be much easier to hunt these people and organizations down. From childhood I’ve been taught that if you’re dishonest about your activities or your doing something that’s harming others, that’s wrong. If someone points this out to you, you should listen, examine yourself and stop the bad behavior. It seems that in the world of American government, those rules don’t apply. If you do something that’s wrong, hide it, lie about it, and if someone points it out, try to throw them in jail. Great lesson for all the youngsters out there.
These attitudes show that this country doesn’t actually believe in all that freedom and liberty stuff. They are only words if actions do not follow. I’m not sure what to call this country anymore. Tracking every move of Americans online, stripping away my right to a trial under the NDAA, leading a witch hunt against those exposing corrupt government practices and pushing for a final end to internet privacy with CISPA doesn’t sound like America. Call it the United States of Dystopia; one nation under fear, with liberty and possible indefinite detention for all.
CISPA, aka H.R. 624 has now been referred to the House Committee on Intelligence. With an executive order passed to give it a boost, support from companies like Facebook, and a lack of serious conversation about it in the mainstream media, the government hopes to get it passed into law. It seems intentional to constantly bombard citizens with confusing acronyms like SOPA/PIPA/FISA/CISPA and cryptic language so they don’t understand or don’t care about the nature of these bills. It’s draining to attempt to unpack all this information at my small level. But for the sake of the internet, and to join those who wish to protect and encourage it, I will continue to share my thoughts and stand up against the powers that be. Internet pioneers and activists like Aaron Swartz didn’t die for the rest of us to sit back and take it lying down.
There is still time to contact Congress and say “violating our privacy is not an option.”. To find out more information and get involved, check out these sites..
– Jimi Jaxon