SOPA caused quite a stir at the top of the year, as many feared the repercussions of its potential passing. It would’ve given intellectual property owners (movie studio, labels, etc.) sweeping authority to shut down websites suspected of piracy and ISPs the power to block Internet access to pirating users. But alas, Congress pulled the bill completely. The war was over, with the Internets the victor—or so we thought.
Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed CISPA, a SOPA-like alternative that pretty much kills user privacy, 248-168. Now, ISPs are required to hand over your browsing history and habits to the government for any of the following purposes: national security, investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime (any crime involving network disruption or hacking), protection of individuals, and protection of children. Basically, on the off-chance that you’re doing anything remotely suspiciously on the Internet, the government can look into your history with no warrant. AT&T, Facebook, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Verizon all supported the bill. Google, not surprisingly, did not.
CISPA now faces a Senate vote before it goes into actual law. If it does, President Obama has already promised to veto it. Here’s hoping he keeps his word.