Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge
without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
- Samuel Johnson
I'll continue on doing a series of posts that I see on the EFF.org website because I feel the manipulation that they present isn't true or greatly exaggerated into conspiracy mode. Take a look at the title of this post? How many people have actually come out and said this? Not very many. According to Google (at the time of this post) only one page on the internet contains these words in their title and it happens to be a tweet. 3250 pages contain this phrase. I'm definitely at a minority here with my support.
What is CISPA?Well it's a bill. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. I would say more, but judging by how the EFF answers this question, they seem to want to set the frame as evil. I think asking more first is a better way to frame this question.
What is the objective of CISPA?Essentially the objective is to stop hacking attacks government and business infrastructures. In case you've been out to lunch, there is a lot of hacking going on right now. Literally a war is being fought in cyberspace. You may not think it's really that big deal if the Department of Homeland Security website gets defaced, but that really isn't the main concern.
The objective is to prevent such attacks, but also to open up doorways of justice by the people who do this.
What is the problem CISPA is to solve?It's trying to solve the problem of coordinated hacking attacks, both on the government and of large private businesses. These attacks can be as simple as defacing a website. They can be sophisticated as stealing personal information (credit cards, addresses, names, SS numbers, tax information, etc) and ending up in the hands of someone else.
There can also be a wide-scale cyber attack designed to shut down major government network infrastructure (and of private business) that could literally costs billions of dollars wasted.
The real problem on the internet is that a hacker (at least the smart ones) isn't going to go on their home computer and hack the FBI. If that's how it worked, we wouldn't need a law like this. Most DDoS attacks happen from several computers that were infected/exploited or hacked into to launch the attack.
What is the purpose of CISPA?The purpose is to enhance sharing of information. That's all it is.
The Director of National Intelligence shall establish procedures to allow
elements of the intelligence community to share cyber threat intelligence
with private-sector entities and utilities and to encourage the sharing of such intelligence.
Ignore the vague part of that because this is for a committee, which end up figuring out these things. But you get the intention. It's to share information. This may seem weird and wild to you (I don't know why), but this does happen. Amber alerts are shared information. It's not evil or Orwellian. It's sharing of information that can be beneficial.
CISPA in Every Day WordsEveryone that is getting worked up, is getting worked up for no real reason. This law is being passed to deal with a full out cyber attack against the United States government and the economy. That's it. It's not to spay on punk kid intellectual property thief (despite your delusions of grandeur, you're not that important).
This is for the ever increasing cyber attacks that seem to be coming from the Chinese government. It's to deal with problems like this.
And just an FYI because an argued point I keep hearing is that this law allows the government to go to Facebook, get you private information without a warrant. Totally not true. There is absolutely nothing in this bill about such things. Since it doesn't talk about anything like this, it doesn't contain the information about getting a warrant. So therefore they don't need a warrant. Crazy.
What's all the resistance?It's quite simply idiots. There seems to be this view that the internet needs to be anarchy because that's what it's like now. It's the wild west. We all like freedom, but there are rules of law. There's a reason why you get 10 emails a day in your spam folder from a Nigerian bank. If real ethical and moral laws were applied to the internet, you wouldn't get a single email like that. Doing this isn't wrong, immoral or an attack on freedom. It actually enhances freedom.
Guess what? There's no big government conspiracy to spy on you, and to know what you're doing. The government doesn't care if you support the Green Party and talk about it on the internet. It's nice to think that you're being watched and the government really does take that much interest in you, but it doesn't.
Enforcement of moral laws on the internet shouldn't be opposed. Will it result in your lost freedoms of making death threats and harassment? Probably. Will you be free to discuss politics, read about interesting topics, chat with your friends, and look at weird pornography you like? Absolutely.
Conspiracy-esque is the only way to really describe the opposition to such a law.