CISPA: Action Alert from Privacy Watchdogs, Does It Violate the 4th Amendment?

Opponents are mounting a full-on attack against the Cyber Intelligence & Sharing Act (CISPA), legislation that is headed to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote this coming week. On Sunday, #StopCISPA was the No. 2 trending topic on Twitter and Google +

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and other opponents are mounting a full-on attack against CISPAthe Cyber Intelligence & Sharing Act — that is headed to U.S. Congress lawmakers for a vote this coming week.

Proponents include Facebook, AT&T and a long list of tech companies. Here is a document showing their support of it and why. Opponents such as Google, the EFF and hordes of online folk, worry that CISPA is a backdoor work around U.S. Fourth Amendment protections. On Sunday, April 21, 2012, it was the number two trending topic on Google + … it resided there throughout the weekend.

The EFF has gone so far as to create the following:

Here’s some code we cooked up to create an embeddable iframe version of the tool. We urge anyone who has a website to embed their own copy by pasting this code into their site, so more users will learn about CISPA and tweet at Congress to oppose it.

<div style="text-align:center;"><iframe style="border:0;width:720px;height:570px;overflow:hidden;" src=""></iframe></div>

Want to customize it? Just replace with whatever URL you want to use as a next step. If you don’t include a URL it will default to EFF’s action alert against CISPA.

CISPA—the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (H.R. 3523)— is up for a vote this week in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Privacy advocate and CEO of UmeNow, Evelyn Castillo-Bach, says on her site that opponents “are smart people who want cyber security legislation but reject surveillance laws that violate the privacy rights of Americans …  it’s time to stop and rethink CISPA. Every CEO and corporate board needs to ask: Is CISPA a backdoor bypass to the 4th Amendment? We should not forget that It gives the people the right not to be searched in their persons, houses, papers, and effects without probable cause and a search warrant … ”

The EFF has already launched what it calls its Stop Cyber Spying platform with its so-called Congressional Twitter Handle Detection Tool. “Users can enter a zip code in order to find their Representative’s Twitter account,” its site explains. “Folks are then urged to tweet messages to their Representatives highlighting the invasive nature of the CISPA cyber spying bill, a vaguely written piece of legislation that would let companies bypass privacy law and share private user information with the government.”

Our John C. Dvorak shares thoughts about this short and broad piece of proposed legislation that has the Internet up in arms here.

Are you speaking out against CISPA? Why or why not? Let us know.

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