CISPA and the Fourth Amendment

To all my friends,

I don't post about politics much, and when I do it's out of frustration with both parties.  I vote, and I follow politics, but the fact is I am generally too cynical to rally people toward a candidate or party.  America is one of the great socieities of all time, and I love this nation.  It's just that I tend to see politics as a collusion between public and private power spheres trying to gain more power, money and dominance.  This goes for the Republicans and Democrats.

So, know what I am saying comes from a truly unpartisan stance.  Also know I hate writing about or discussing poltics in general.  I would not write this if I did not believe that the need was dire.  The fact is, I believe the time has come for you to act if you care about your personal liberty and privacy.

The House of Representatives passed CISPA last night.  I know most of you back one party or the other, and hence distrust at least half of the media outlets out there, which is why I linked directly to  I've already written and called Steve Southerland, my Congressman.  Much to my dismay, Representative Southerland voted for this bill.  The ship has sailed in the House. Now we must look to the Senate.

The House rushed to this vote, and I believe it is because they are afraid of public outcry.  We nerds organized quite a campaign around SOPA, but it takes time.  By rushing a vote, the House moved before we could organize opposition.

Why should you care?  CISPA gives the governement the ability to ignore the fourth amendment online.  The government and private ISPs can collect and share any personal data about you: your emails, messages, web history and others without probable cause or a search warrant.  This is a stunning loss of liberty for Americans.

The worst part is, this won't actually protect our national security.  For those who wish to do harm to our country, encrypting and coding communications is trivial.  This bill does nothing to make us safer.  We are in a case where the least technically literate citizens of this country are trying to legislate policy for technical systems.

I believe that we all share some core values, regardless of if we are Republicans, Democrats or neither.  We believe that the power of the American experience is Liberty and Opportunity.  The Land of the Free attracts the best and the brightest across the world.  That soil allowed the industrial revolution to happen here with greater power than anywhere else.  That grew to the Space Age and the Information Revolution.  America has historically been at the forefront of Liberty and that has made us powerful economically and militarily.

The greatest form of free speech of all time is the Internet.  It is bringing down dictatorships and giving people unprecident abilites to learn, organize and change.  I absolutely believe we need to grow and change our policies to protect intellectual property and national security in this new world, but too broad, ham-fisted legislation like SOPA and CISPA attempt to roll back the clock and destroy liberty in the process.

Do your homework, and if you agree with me I urge you to contact your Senator and tell them you expect protection for your constitutional liberties.  A call is best, but a letter or email is better than nothing.  Also, see which way your Congressman voted and then hold them accountable.  I've added a widget below to help you in this process.


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