The long-standing battle over the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), designed specifically to grant the NSA and other government agencies access to even more privacy data, has been dramatically redefined in the past few weeks.
That’s because Americans are no longer in the dark about the overwhelming surveillance they are already under, at all times, by the NSA. The backlash at the ugly truth of today is a major roadblock in the way of Congress signing off on the even uglier vision of tomorrow.
CISPA advocate Rep. Mike Pompeo (R – KS) dismissed the concerns, insisting that a law giving private companies broad permission to ignore privacy laws when sharing data with the government was a totally separate issue from the government violating peoples’ privacy.
Yet the comparisons are inevitable, and indeed the NSA PRISM scheme is a stark reminder that the existing privacy protections are wholly insufficient, meaning that new legislation aimed at weakening those protections must face an uphill battle.