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CISPA threatens Internet users’ activity, privacy

If you thought the battle for Internet freedom was won with the defeat of SOPA and PIPA, think again.

The proposed Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, is quickly gaining attention around the Internet. The new bill is meant to encourage information sharing between the government and companies. The explanation for this change is for homeland security purposes.

The bill is gaining a bad reputation as a “Big Brother” bill.  CISPA would allow the government to view users’ activity on search engines, social networks, and other websites, effectively eradicating any vestiges of online privacy.

Congress quickly dropped support for SOPA and PIPA after massive public outrage back in January. But some politicians aren’t going to give up.

Tim Berners-Lee, one of the founders of the modern Internet, said, “It’s staggering how quickly the U.S. Government has come back with a new, different threat to the rights of its citizens.”

Much like SOPA and PIPA, those against CISPA say the bill violates our freedom of speech, and much of the opposition is calling for maintaining privacy on the Internet.

Rep. Ron Paul, (R-Texas), is calling CISPA “Big Brother writ large.” Meanwhile, petitions have popped up all over the internet fighting against CISPA.

Luckily, the public is once more opposing such measures, and citizens are being backed by the White House. As The Eagle went to press Wednesday, several media outlets reported President Barack Obama issued a statement threatening to veto CISPA, citing privacy concerns.

The opportunity to speak up for Internet freedom should not be passed up. CISPA goes against our right to research what we like, to update our status while saying whatever we like, and even to look up dumb pictures of cats. Just like SOPA and PIPA, no matter what the intentions the result is still the same: an overregulated and scrutinized Internet.

Stand up for free speech. Get the message across now. Call, write, or visit  your representative as soon as possible. Hopefully our House of Representatives will see how much we citizens value our freedom, and threats to the Internet will be quashed like before.

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