What sparked the recent privacy outcry over CISPA -- including a petition signed by nearly 800,000 Internet users -- are portions of the law that would allow Internet companies to open their networks and customer databases to the Feds for cybersecurity purposes.
Probably the most controversial section of CISPA says that "notwithstanding any other provision of law," companies may share information with Homeland Security, the IRS, or the National Security Agency. By including the word "notwithstanding," CISPA's drafters intended to make their legislation trump all existing federal and state laws, including ones dealing with wiretaps, educational records, medical privacy, and more.Seriously? Come on, Congress. Orwell was meant as a cautionary tale, not a playbook. So, sure, cybersecurity is a real issue, but we mustn't settle for horrible "solutions."