Another White House petition hit the 100K mark – Stop CISPA.
The petition was launched to stop the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act from being passed and put into action, as Internet activists see it as something that suppresses Internet freedom as well as a violation of people’s privacy. Freedom fighters argue that the terms in act are too broad, which makes it easy for authorities to abuse it.
CISPA has been dubbed as the SOPA replacement but much worse, as the government tries to fight cybercrimes. CISPA gives the Defense Department sharper teeth, which doesn’t help since Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano stated that CISPA doesn’t have “privacy protections built within it and it resided almost all of the cyber information monitoring responsibilities within the NSA, which of course is part of the military.”
CISPA was passed in the House of Representatives on April 26, 2012, but not in the US Senate. President Barack Obama was advised to veto the bill, since it lacked confidentiality and civil liberties safeguards.
The bill was reintroduced last February, prompting the launch of the petition against the bill. The House Intelligence Committee is positive that the bill will be passed this time since President Obama’s executive order with regards to cybersecurity was made known. The President is also sitting down with corporate leaders in the hopes of finding a way on how the government and private sectors can work together to improve cybersecurity.
I’m sure many of you are thinking that petitions, whether online or actual ones, are useless, but that’s not necessarily the case. A petition can actually give people a voice, and get them the results they’re after.
We the People is a section of the White House website launched back in September 2011. In order for petitions to be noticed and searched on the website, it needs 100,000 signatures in 30 days.
A response can be what the petitioners actually want to happen, or it could be the total opposite. And this is the reason why We the People has raised doubts by many. Published responses are usually deemed as non-responsive lip service.
So should you waste your time signing a petition, or could it make a difference in the case of CISPA?