This week, Internet activists have a whole new acronym they want you to protest -- CISPA. That's the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (HR 3523), which "will negate existing privacy laws and allow companies to share user data with the government without a court order," the Electronic Frontier Foundation warns.
But don't expect website blackouts or symbolic gestures of disapproval, as we did on January 18, the day of the SOPA Internet protest. Unlike the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) , which was protested by corporations, CISPA has support among the tech giants including Facebook, IBM and Microsoft.
Facebook, owner of the world's largest social graph -- the map of everyone you know and predictor of anything you might do -- even asks users to trust corporations and the government to do what's best.
Why? Well, with CISPA, tech giants stand to benefit because the government is helpfully alleviating corporations of liability.
Lifehacker breaks it down in a great explanatory piece:
"The main reason companies are supporting CISPA is because it takes the pressure to regulate users off the private company. SOPA required private companies to keep track of what its users were doing and held private companies liable for its users. CISPA transfers that role and responsibility over to a government entity. Effectively, it makes it so a company cannot be sued by a user for handing their information over to the law."
So what's the problem?
"CISPA would allow ISPs, social networking sites and anyone else handling Internet communications to monitor users and pass information to the government without any judicial oversight," EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman said in a statement. "The language of this bill is dangerously vague, so that personal online activity -- from the mundane to the intimate -- could be implicated."
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