Our View: Attacking our privacy

DKS Editors

Hundreds of websites participated in a “blackout” Monday in protest of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, a bill passed in the House last week. The goal of the act is to stop cyber attacks from countries outside of the U.S., but many oppose the measure because it would allow companies to release users’ private information to the government.The language in the bill is vague, causing many to wonder just how much of their privacy could be invaded if CISPA is passed.A year ago, there was a wide protest across the Internet in response to SOPA, a bill that was introduced to combat copyright infringement. It resulted in a more widespread “blackout” from websites like Google, Wikipedia, Tumblr and Reddit, which brought awareness to the issue and showed visitors the kind of censorship that would result in such a measure being passed.While SOPA affected those of us who stream or download free content, CISPA could affect anyone with an Internet connection. If this bill passes, emails, text messages and cloud storage files could be shared without a warrant, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.Wanting to keep our information secure doesn’t mean we have something to hide – it means we have the right to a certain level of privacy that the federal government should not infringe upon.With the possibility of employers requiring new hires to divulge their Facebook passwords looming in the near future, we think it’s time to draw the line between what really protects us and what is merely a result of paranoia.Although the bill currently sits in the Senate, the White House announced that it would veto the bill in its current form. We hope, at the very least, the federal government clarifies the language of CISPA in order to prevent an abuse of power and the distribution of private information without limitations. Ideally, we hope the nation’s protests are heard and our right to privacy is respected. The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.