In the midst of the Boston bombs and the Texas explosion, critics say the U.S. House of Representatives violated the Fourth Amendment by passing CISPA yesterday.
The Fourth Amendment:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
According to The Examiner, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) would authorize e-mail and Internet providers to share confidential information with the federal government, and permit police to do warrant-less database searches.
Furthermore, the Examiner reported that Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat proposed, a one-sentence amendment that would have required the National Security Agency, the FBI, Homeland Security, and other agencies to secure a “warrant obtained in accordance with the Fourth Amendment” before searching a database for evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
However, that did not go through as bill sponsor Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said “This protects privacy, it protects civil liberty. This is the answer to empower cyber information sharing.”
The heads of Twitter, Google and Facebook are being urged by the media to support the efforts of trying to defeat the controversial cyber security bill.
Not only that, but the Obama administration is also in support of this, and has expressed a wish to veto the bill. The White House released a statement on Monday that said:
“The administration still seeks additional improvements and if the bill, as currently drafted, were presented to the president, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill.”
This is a bill that may well impact how we view modern day Internet surfing, file sharing and email corresponding.
How would you like it if you were emailing a family member sensitive and private information when e-mail and Internet providers are fully authorized to share that confidential information with the federal government, and even permit police to do warrant-less database searches?
Privacy got a whole new meaning, huh?
Well, had more people paid attention to the bill this week, more people in the lobbying field could perhaps have done something. We saw how the power of lobbying could affect a bill. Why shouldn’t this one be?
One question begs an answer: Why did the media not pay attention to this controversial bill amidst everything else that was going on?
The bombs in Boston was a horrible act of terrorism, and what happened in Waco, Texas with the explosion was terrible, but what has gone wrong with the U.S. media?
Why is it that when one big thing happens, everything that happens in between just isn’t worth the media coverage?
For now, that question remains unanswered.