On the news that the US House of Representatives voted up the CISPA cybersecurity bill, concerned net-citizens have begun their movement against. In a vote of 248-168, the Republican controlled governing body sent a clear message to many net citizens; “We’ll use fear to gain control.” To learn what you need to do, read until the bottom please.
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) a law that opens an information gateway that “encourages” companies and the federal government to share information collected on the Internet. It is for most Web citizens however, just another infringement upon liberty. Ostensibly, the legislation is “hyped” by supporters as “…the last bastion of things we need to do to protect this country”, quoting via USA Today, Rep. Mike Rogers, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee (in mashup at post end). In reality though, the American people probably need protection from their own government and corporations, more than from Russian or Chinese cyber attacks, let alone Afghanistan dive bombers.
The Freedom of Your Information Act
Five hours of debate on the house floor, and 10 years into arguments over Homeland Security powers versus civil liberties (since 911), the same elements that convinced the world of Saddam Hussein’s WMODs, would use fear to push through potentially disastrous legislation. Opening a Pandora’s box of Big Brother-like proportions, where civil liberties are concerned, is the last thing the American people need at this critical juncture. Republican Rep. Joe Barton (at right) encapsulated it all with; ”Until we protect the privacy rights of our citizens, the solution is worse than the problem.”
Even some top Republicans are aghast at the ill-advisedness of such measures. John McCain called Homeland Security “the most inefficient bureaucracy (he) ever encountered.” Just looking at what’s trending on Google and g+ (#CISPA), it’s clear the public will is at best, not substantially served by this vote. I paste some public comments:
Cyndi Smith shared:
“How can an out-of-touch group of overpaid vote-grubbing trogloditesseriously make an intelligent decision regarding ANYTHING to do with the Internet? #CISPA must go. ”
Stephen Ornelas throws his SEO and SM weight with:
By far, the most impacting share existent on g+ is thevideo below by Anonymous.
Deep packet inspection. The term itself sounds ominous, and it is. In any form of government who controls information is without a doubt in control of the people. Not enough can be said about the personal information of citizens, and the import thereof. Every evil done to the masses has, at its core, been accomplished through usurping the right of privacy and free speech. Homeland Security itself, is arguably an unconstitutional entity. Factor in ineffectiveness (40 million Mexicans and Central Americans wandering across borders), and the potential for outright control, and there’s a recipe for disaster. CISPA, for most informed people at least, should be dubbed the “Watching You Act”.
This whole CISPA/Homeland Security affair reminds of another place and time. Citizens should be appraised, a hidden war is going on, one which will determine generations of human beings’ existence. Looking into the past, to Nazi Germany, wisdom comes from the most unusual sources sometimes. It is no stretch to listen to the words of Hitler’s second in command, Reichsstatthalter Herman Göring. I quote from a statement he made during the Nuremberg War Trials. I highlight in bold italic the most pertinent phrase:
“Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. …voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.“
After the attacks of 911, the Republicans, the powers that be, used fear to rally Americans to invade Iraq. Under the same auspices, Afghanistan was invaded, the Arab world threatened with same essentially, even allies were bullied and cajoled into at least tacit forms of support or approval. As a result of these actions, right or wrong, the United States of America is all but penniless. Tens of thousands of people who once lived, are not dead before their time. Agencies of the Federal Government have been set up, and tasked, with spying on the very people they are under oath to protect. Meanwhile, people like Google’s Sergey Brin take heat for suggesting the government (politicians and corporations) represent the biggest threat to liberties.
Wall Street robber barons still prowl after the biggest bit of thievery in the history of mankind. Huge corporations get by with figurative if not literal murder. The adversaries now set up by these politicians, Russia and China, were in fact set at odds with American interests by the same politicians. The so called “Cold War” between the USSR and the US, the one heralded as over? It is only transformed, Russia just backed up into the shadows, and American strategists still practice their own variety of mistrust. China? That relationship is an ideological nightmare than never should have been. The US now owes China interests more money than the country has, and to aggravate this fact, the politicians “voted” to send America’s jobs and manufacturing capacity there.
Now we have dived off into a much deeper debate. But the variables are crucial for even the layman to understand the uproar over CISPA. And from one other perspective, and interesting one too, if the Republicans were searching for a path to losing the presidential vote in November, they just did it. Obama can more easily call Internet users to actually venture forth to the voting booths. But is that a good thing? Herein is the dilemma for all of us, for humanity itself really. Can we ever know what is really going on? Who is the patriot, who is not? Are there any left?
What You Have to Do
Even in chaos, under the boot of tyrants, or walking the heralded halls of Utopian societies, solidarity is where all true power resides. Having the symbolic gauntlet thrown down before us, the people can only voice in solidarity a cry for freedom. Rest assured, the powers that run things only fear one thing, I will not utter that. But, a clear voice saying “leave my personal life alone” – spoken with fervor by everyone – this message tells the world hopeful democracy lives still. Arguing, back biting, greedy and ignorant dis-accord between the citizens though – this empowers tyrants.
Here is the Facebook profile of Rep. Mike Rogers, where some opponents have already ventured. Here is Representative Joe Barton’s, and here is where you can write the White House an email, and here is where you can tweet Obama. Your representative and Senator are on SM too.
So, what are you going to do?
Photo credit: CISPA Watching You mashup courtesy Jürgen Fälchle – Fotolia.com