In January of this year, internet giants such as Google and Facebook joined with everyday users to protest the creation of the Stop Online Piracy Act. SOPA, as it’s been called, granted the government the right to shut down a website if it had any copywritten content posted – a power which the citizens of the internet correctly identified as an unprecedented overreach and an abuse of power.
With the might of some of the internet’s biggest companies, a wave of protests toppled the bill in just a few short weeks. But now, emerging from the ashes, comes a new bill – one which some activists are calling “SOPA 2.0.”
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (that’s CISPA for you short-handers out there) represents Congress’s first attempt since SOPA to try to craft a piece of internet regulation that touches on the information users disseminate daily on the web. The bill is meant to provide countermeasures to cyber attacks and foreign espionage on the internet. Critics such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, however, argue that the bill is too vaguely written and that it could lead to invasions of privacy (reading private email accounts, for example).
The bill’s sponsors insist that the legislation has no such provisions in it. Unlike SOPA, the bill is mainly aimed at cyber-spying, not online piracy. Additionally, the big corporations that came out to stop SOPA have largely supported CISPA, or have chosen to stay silent. As a result, the massive internet outrage that marked the SOPA debate hasn’t been seen with CISPA – at least, not yet.
For more information about the fight to stop CISPA, you may want to read what Politico.com has to say about it here.