The good news is that SOPA and PIPA haven’t come to pass, but the bad news is that they could be followed by a bill that is even more invasive and could violate even more of your civil liberties. It’s called CISPA and it stands for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. In short, it allows the government to request all kinds of information of Internet service providers and web hosts about its users.
Private companies are “encouraged” to “monitor” for “cyber threat” information happening on their networks, even if they have no real reason to do so. As Kendall Burman from the Center for Democracy and Technology explains in the video below, the breadth of the bill is remarkably broad, covering just about any kind of Internet activity at all. It doesn’t even really say what “government” can demand this kind of information, leaving it very vague and wide-reaching.
Ironically, even GOP candidate Rick Santorum went out to say that the Internet is “not a free zone,” and that regulations have to be in place to prevent an “anything goes” environment online. So much for small government. Following the Supreme Court ruling that allows getting strip searched for even the most minor of offenses, CISPA could allow the strip-searching of your online habits too… even without any kind of offense at all.