US Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has condemned both the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), the SECURE IT Act and their supporters, arguing the proposed legislation would do next to nothing to stop cyber terrorism and would, instead, alienate the citizenry with its overreaching, abysmal privacy protections, and poor architecture. Wyden called the CISPA legislation—and other attempts like it—“an overreaction to a legitimate fear.”
Here’s part of what Wyden said on the Senate floor:
“It is a fundamental principle of cyber-security that any network whose failure could result in loss of life or significant property should be physically isolated from the internet. Unfortunately many of our critical network operators have violated this principle in order to save money or streamline operations. This sort of gross negligence should be the first target in any cyber-security program –- not the privacy of individual Americans.”
Wyden went on to suggest that implementation of CISPA or anything like it could result in the creation of “a cyber-industrial complex,” allowing federal agencies and its corporate partners to profit from the personal information of any US citizen with an internet connection. This is a clear allusion to the military-industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned of in his farewell address.
US Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) addresses the Senate on cyber-security.
CISPA, as currently written, would allow US federal agencies to monitor the online activities and correspondence of anyone in the country while simultaneously protect businesses that help in the surveillance endeavor. Originally intended to fight cyber terrorism attacks on the nation’s online infrastructure, the law’s provisions—as passed by the US House of Representatives—would hamstring expression on the internet while simultaneously eliminating electronic privacy.
Privacy is Awesome has a five-step model for blocking this legislation.