Friday, April 27, 2012

CISPA, Your ISP as Spy!

It is bad enough that we must live under the Patriot Act, which I feel is the most unpatriotic law ever devised. In fact, many in government believe it is unconstitutional for they have dropped cases where challenges to the law were made. They want no court to review it, so they avoid that at every possible turn. The Patriot Act is that bad!

Now, we have CISPA which is much like the Patriot Act in what it hopes to do. They want to streamline sharing of information among ISPs and the government. Today, any ISP if they have reason may inform the government of your activities, just like you can report your neighbor to the police. However, both your ISP and you are responsible for your actions. When bad information causes harm to innocent people lawsuits generally will follow. With CISPA, your ISP will not have that concern. It allows them to use CISPA as a "Get Out of a Lawsuit Free" card. I find two major drawbacks. One, ISPs may be unnecessarily generous with your information, if their is no way for you to sue them. And two, without the need to avoid lawsuits, the accuracy of such information will tend to fall which increases the potential harm to individuals. 

If this is not bad enough, under the monitoring for cyber-threats portions of this bill, all ISPs may go through your emails whenever they wish. Connect that with the above and every email is within the federal government's reach.

The law does not say the NSA or the CIA need to have any limits on the info they receive through CISPA. Those government organizations will have carte blanche in regard to the use of the information that other government agencies would be limited by provisions in CISPA. It is like saying you vow never to overeat with your right hand ever again, leaving your left hand free to stuff yourself silly. That is not enough privacy protection.

Another result of CISPA is that the government will be able receive much more information without the need for search warrants. How that will work is instead of an ISP worried about lawsuits demanding a warrant, the government may ask them to voluntarily provide the information. Since, they have little risk of being sued, the will likely comply without question. The solution to not having enough judges is to hire more judges. Such action is the constitutional action to be take, not working the judges out of the process, entirely.

The ISP to government link up is pretty scary, but it gets worse. CISPA extends all the protections listed to their sharing all such information with other ISPs. So, all the ISPs may swap data, accurate or not. I do not trust the government to keep your private information safe. With their track record of losing unencrypted laptops, for example, they will just not care. Now, we will need to worry about dozens or more ISPs managing your dossier. You actually think some will not make security blunders leaving your private information open for public view.


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