The cybersecurity issue won’t die. But then, who thought it would? The government is determined to save the country from the evils of the Internet by limiting our privacy on it — one way or another.
The House passed CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Security and Protection Act, and Pres. Obama issued a statement opposing it. Why? Because he prefers a competing bill in the Senate — the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, sponsored by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). According to OpenCongress.org, the administration backs the Lieberman-Collins bill “mainly because of a package of regulations it contains for critical infrastructure, like the electrical grid and transportation systems, that is not in CISPA.”
It’s a distinction without a difference, since the remainder of the bill is much like CISPA in its failure to protect the rights and privacy of individuals who use the Internet. The president seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth on cybersecurity, and that’s not a good idea in an election year.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has already said the Lieberman bill is the one he wants to bring up this session, and with its bipartisan sponsorship, it appears destined to pass — not because of its merits but because this is an election year and the administration wants to appear tough on cybersecurity.
Once again, we the people are taking a back seat to election-year politics. Do the lawmakers and corporate lobbyists in Washington even know we exist? Or care? Don’t answer that.