cispa cybersecurity billCISPA, a controversial internet regulation bill (H.R. 624), passed the House today 288-127. You may notice that adds up to 17 less than the total number of Representatives in the House. It is not uncommon for members to be absent and abstain from voting, but for some reason the entire delegation of Massachusetts appeared to have sat this one out for some reason, even though all representatives from the state voted against it last year.

CISPA stands for Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, and stands to violate your right and mine to privacy on the internet. If the pronunciation of “Cispa” doesn’t sound familiar, do you remember SOPA and PIPA? In 2011 both bills were strongly opposed by many companies including Google, AOL, Mozilla, PayPal, Yahoo! (before Google owned them, by the way), CloudFlare, the Huffington Post, and many, many more. GoDaddy lost customers for supporting it.

Proponents of the legislation say it is necessary for protection against ‘cyber attacks,’ though I’m sure the $605 million in lobbying money had nothing to do with their support.

What it Means

CISPA is essentially a third shot at the same target. But this time it passed the house, and now the government could have even more access to your personal information without a warrant or even your knowledge than was made possible by the Patriot Act, if it should pass the Senate.

Tom Cole and Mike Rogers think it’s just 14 year old kids living in their parents’ basements that oppose this Act. No – literally, Cole said it on Oklahoma talk show Mullins in the Morning, and Rogers made it all the way to the Huffington Post.

It had bi-partisan support, in fact with more Republicans than Demcrats voting in favor. Four Oklahoma Congressmen and 27 of Texas’ 36 were among the yeas. Tom Cole, Markwayne Mullin, James Lankford, and Frank Lucas of Oklahoma supported it as well. Jim Bridenstine was the only ‘no’ vote from the Sooner state.

How I Feel About It

I was quite a bit upset by this, as evidenced by a few select tweets:



IMG_1316When the bill reaches the Senate, I expect Rand Paul will be a voice against it, and I hope Ted Cruz joins the chorus. Some have recently criticized him for adding an amendment to the gun bill (which subsequently failed anyway), calling him a statist , I really want to see him in the spotlight defending privacy rights or some other ideal dear to libertarian hearts. He was after all supported by Ron Paul himself in his Senate race last year.

There’s just one problem, however, for CISPA. The President has said he will veto this bill if presented to him in its current form. Let’s hope, at least for the time being, that President Obama is most successful in fulfilling his promise.