This blog is supposed to be about fun. Fun and cats. But this is important.
The interwebz are fun. It’s been quite the journey for me to come from playing Oregon Trail on an Apple II to being able to carry around a 5lb. machine with the ability to share my words with the world, connect with people, learn about new things, have a virtually endless supply of information, etc. I remember when we first got AOL and suffered through the dial-up modem sounds. I had a pager when I was a teenager, as by that time they were “cool” and not just for drug dealers. I got a cell phone when I was 18. I remember when texting started. Now I can do anything on my cell phone that I can do on my computer. I watched this all transform and evolve. And this is all in the matter of my relatively short lifetime.
Despite the fact that we all (well, not all of us) willingly put out TONS of personal information for all to see, through blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc., things that are private deserve to be kept private.
I introduce you to CISPA:
H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence sharing and Protection Act of 2011, along with a handful of other bills currently circulating congress, all seek to give the government the power to force ISPs and other information aggregator companies to share ALL of your personal information, internet usage, and other data with ANY government agency or PRIVATE ENTITY [read: corporation] who requests it. The only requirement is that it be done in the name of “Cybersecurity,” which is never well-defined.
The important part of this bill is that it’s entirely vague. It gives the government power to pretty much to whatever they want. Keep in mind, too, that this bill is written by a group of (mostly) older people with less understanding of technology. I’m not saying that everyone over the age of 50 is a moron when it comes to keeping up. But how many IT guys are senators? These are career politicians.
Fear shouldn’t paralyze us so much that we allow our freedoms to be raped. I read 1984 when I was younger. I think I was probably too young to really understand the implications of it, but I do now. I am, for the most part, a law abiding citizen (I say most part because I think I break a few driving). I don’t have anything to hide. But that doesn’t mean that my email and my search history should be readily tapped into with a vague semblance of cause. That sounds DANGEROUSLY close to “thoughtcrime” to me.
Hold onto your freedoms. We’ve earned them.