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What is CISPA and why should we care? [Infographic]

It seems like the US government is just spending its time drawing up laws that cause online controversy. There was the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), and now there is another **PA floating around in the form of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

CISPA is essentially trying to guard against cyberthreats by encouraging the sharing of information, but some critics argue its definitions are too vague. Some say that it could turn companies like Facebook and Google into “government spies” as they could be offered immunity if they hand over their user information. All of this could be done without a warrant or the user’s knowledge. And considering Facebook and Google probably know your whole life story — from your current location to the photos you were tagged in last week — it’s difficult to see how the bill won’t invade your privacy if it’s passed into law in its current form.

You may remember that the internet community largely opposed SOPA and PIPA, staging a mass protest back in January. You might expect some sort of similar reaction to CISPA. Not so… tech companies like Facebook and Intel have actually offered their support for the bill. So far, the only notable opposition from the technology industry has been from Mozilla and Microsoft.

Despite the fact that others, such as Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the web) and the Obama administration raised concerns with the bill, the House of Representatives passed it. Its counterpart will soon be debated and voted on in the Senate. According to this infographic, you really should care about the final outcome…


Author | Lauren Granger

Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping tech sites and Twitter than she was in picking up one of those printed things called 'newspapers', she decided to specialise in... More