Why This Liberal Isn’t Worried About CISPA

cispaYou know, I get it.  The issue of cyber security is very tricky.  On one hand you have the real threat of a cyber attack—and face it folks, it’s going to happen one of these days.  On the other, we risk a giant invasion of our electronic privacy as Americans by accepting a bill such as CISPA.

I really do get the concerns.

The main issue I have isn’t the government spying on me, what CISPA does is put a lot of this cyber security in the hands of the private sector.  Who in their right mind thinks it’s a good idea to give companies who thrive on profits permission to possibly sell personal information for “security purposes” to other companies?

That part worries me.  But the government?  Eh, not so much.  Call me a cynic or call me naive, but the way I look at it is the government can already seize my bank accounts and garnish my wages if I owe them money, are there Americans that really believe they can’t already get into our email accounts and cell phones?

If a bunch of teenage hackers can do it, what makes you think the government can’t?

So as far as the government goes, it is what it is.  Do I necessarily agree with it?  No, but I’m realistic.  I always refer back to a conversation I had with an ex-professor of mine who worked for the Department of Defense.  He told me once, “You know, I didn’t have the highest of security clearances, but I knew people who did.  They often told me that we have things that people couldn’t even imagine.  That they always found it funny when Americans who know nothing about national security act as if they’re expects, when they don’t even know 1/100 of the stuff that goes on in this world.”

And I sort of agree with that.  It’s easy for us to sit on the outside and complain about what we think we know, but just what in the hell do we know?

It’s like trying to judge a stranger’s marriage when all you know is the first letter in each of their names.

Now, when politicians want to take our cyber security and hand it over to the private sector, many of the same private sector companies who donate to their campaigns—that’s where I call BS.  These are the same companies that treat people like cogs in a machine rather than human beings, paying their CEO’s 100x more than the average worker—and we’re supposed to think that they give a crap about keeping us safe out of the goodness of their heart?

If you believe that, I’ve got some great oceanfront property in South Dakota for sale—real cheap.

My biggest issue with CISPA hasn’t been with the bill, because it’s not going to become law.  Just before the bill was passed in the House, a spokesperson for the White House publicly said President Obama planned to veto the legislation if it came to his desk.  Well, almost as soon as it passed the House, we had the bombings in Boston, the explosion in Texas and the manhunt for the 2 bombing suspects that pushed most everything in this country to the back burner, at least for a short time.

Now I know what many liberals will say, “Well he said he would veto NDAA and he lied.”  Which is true.  But there’s a huge difference between the continuation of a bill that’s been around for decades and the passage of brand new legislation we’ve never seen before.

Also, what’s been left out  in many of the reports on the signing of NDAA was it carried with it the 2013 funding, in the sum of $633 billion dollars, for our armed forces.  But I know no matter what I say, “NDAA is bad, Obama lied” is all many people will care about, so I’ll move on from that.

My biggest issue with CISPA has been the coverage of the bill, especially from many liberal sources.  I’ve said before, be weary of those sites and pages who seem to always have some “shocking” headline about a key issue going on in the country.  It was never more obvious than with the coverage of CISPA.  I’ve read at least 30 articles covering a wide range of topics about this bill, you know how many mentioned the White House had already said they would veto the bill?


You know what I did see a lot of?  Irrational fear mongering with headlines such as “Get Ready America, Facebook Will Soon Be Able to Sell Your Passwords to Employers” and “CISPA: The DEATH of PRIVACY.”

Again with zero mention of the fact the White House quickly came out with a statement saying they would veto the bill.  Hell, not even a mention of the fact it hasn’t even made it out of the Senate—only the House passed it.

And how many times has the House passed a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare”?  Over 30?  How’s that working out for them?

It isn’t that there aren’t true concerns about the bill.  It isn’t that people shouldn’t be made aware of what’s going on.  It’s that key points in “reporting” were left out in favor of blatant fear mongering —because fear drives better revenue.

What headlines should have more accurately read were “Despite White House Veto Threat, House Passes CISPA.”  But that’s not what I saw.

Now I fully agree we need a real debate in this country over our cyber security.  The focal point must be the role of government as it relates to our privacy.

However, we can’t let that discussion be controlled by those who wish to exploit fear over rational discourse.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments