The Daily Gamecock

CISPA's reintroduction follows concerning pattern

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, otherwise known as CISPA, is back in the Senate. Last we heard, the bill was dead on arrival in the Senate, after it was effectively grounded by Edward Snowden’s PRISM revelation. Now that the heat has died down a little, National Security Agency director Keith Alexander is publicly asking that the legislation be reintroduced, and consequently, two senators have confirmed to Mother Jones that they’re drafting a new version.

U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss are currently working together in order to piece together a new iteration of the controversial bill.

Its purpose? To bolster the country’s cybersecurity by giving tech companies the legal freedom to share more of their customers’ private data with the U.S. government.

Reading between the lines would tell you that the bill is poised to strip us of what little privacy we seem to still have. What’s more concerning is companies like Google and Facebook have supported CISPA in the past, albeit quietly. Granted, this may be because Google and Facebook were looking to cover their own bases after being forced to provide information to the NSA. CISPA’s passing would absolve them of any guilt in the event of lawsuits.

Nevertheless, the NSA’s obvious persistence in getting this bill passed should be a concern for anyone in the international community offended by the NSA’s vast spy network.

Thankfully, even if the bill makes it to the floor, we’ve got President Barack Obama on our side, who threatened to veto the House’s version earlier this year. In the wake of the PRISM scandal, we can presume it’s going to be much harder to get information-sharing legislation passed.

That being said, those who cherish their privacy will want to keep their eye on CISPA’s progressions.

It goes without saying that many resources and man-hours have been spent attempting to pass this bill. It wasn’t passed twice before, and now it’s back.

It’s also worth noting that after 16 days of federal government shutdown, CISPA was still a priority to these senators.

Senators like Feinstein and Chambliss, who are either at the heed and call of powerful lobbyists or don’t understand the practicality of the things they wish to change, will continue to try to pass the bill until they succeed.

The bill is a perfect manifestation of the brokenness of our Congress and will be a test of our country’s will to defend its constitutional rights.

No one knows when the cycle will end, but until then, if you care about your rights to privacy, keep yourself posted on the status of CISPA and remain vigilant.