CISPA – An Update

Below is a copy of the letter from the Campaign for Liberty, providing an update on the House passage of the CISPA internet censorship bill.  This provides good information, links, and ways you can help.

Thanks to your quick action this week, C4L helped generate intense heat on a bill once thought to be guaranteed smooth passage.

As it turns out, the Republican Leadership was so “confident” in H.R. 3523, the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act” (CISPA), that they had to ram it through at the last minute Thursday night after an entire week of portraying the vote as taking place today.

Ultimately, the legislation passed 248-168.

House Leadership knew the opposition to CISPA was growing in both numbers and intensity as groups like C4L got the word out on their latest attack on our privacy.

So they were only able to pass it after adopting 11 amendments on the House floor to tweak the language.

If a bill needs to be changed that much, it’s pretty obvious it should go back to the drawing board instead of on to the Senate.

Though we fell short of stopping CISPA in the House, the vote was much closer than it was expected to be even a week ago, and I again thank you for your response to our calls for action.

With so many amendments being adopted just before the rushed vote on final passage, it was not possible for representatives to get a full picture of what the bill will do until after they passed it.

I’m sure you remember Nancy Pelosi’s famous proclamation, “We have to pass [ObamaCare] so you can find out what’s in it.”

Though an examination of the Frankenstein legislation CISPA became reveals some useful narrowing of certain language, the final bill still contains broad provisions that could open the floodgates for what government can see about our online activity.

And, despite so many amendments, CISPA still contains the “notwithstanding any other provision in law” clause that trumps current privacy laws and the immunity guarantee that allows private companies to get off scot-free if they misuse our information or falsely accuse us.

The battle to guard our privacy online now turns to the Senate, where CISPA faces an uncertain future.

But it’s a guarantee that any refusal on Senator Harry Reid’s part to bring CISPA up for a vote won’t be because of a love for liberty.

Instead, a coalition of senators led by Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins are promoting their own legislation that can only be described as CISPA on steroids.

But friends of freedom have a powerful ally in Senator Rand Paul as we oppose this bill, and C4L will need your help again to provide him with the critical grassroots reinforcements necessary to guard our privacy and civil liberties.

So be sure to stay tuned to your email for more information on this bill in the coming days.

Though it can seem discouraging when a bill so fiercely attacking our rights passes a chamber of Congress, you and I must never let such news knock us out of the fight.

The statists know which way the wind is blowing in this country, and that’s why they’re pulling out every possible stop to enforce their agenda.

If your representative voted for CISPA, I urge you to call Congress and let them know you will be sure to tell your fellow constituents about their refusal to stand for freedom.

If your representative voted against CISPA, I hope you will remind them that we expect loyalty to the Constitution on every other vote, as well.

As we look ahead, let us redouble our resolve and press on in defense of liberty.

For those who are able to give right now, I hope you willchip in $10 or $25 to help C4L continue to fight CISPA, the Lieberman-Collins bill, and any other legislation that threatens Americans’ cherished freedoms.

If the only action you can take today is to call Congress, write a quick note to your elected officials, or spread the word to your family and friends, I hope you will do so.

Every step we take to act on our beliefs moves us closer to our goal of Reclaiming the Republic and Restoring the Constitution.

In Liberty,

Matt Hawes
Vice President

P.S.  In the face of growing opposition, House Leadership rammed CISPA through last night by a vote of 248-168.

Even though 11 amendments tweaked the bill’s language, the final product still threatens our online privacy and exempts private companies from being held liable for abusing our personal information.

Although CISPA is currently unlikely to gain much traction in the Senate, another bill, proposed by Senators Lieberman and Collins, can only be summarized as CISPA on steroids.

Your chip-in contribution of $10 or $25 will help C4L turn up the heat on the Senate to reject both pieces of legislation.

If you cannot give right now, please continue to contact Congress and spread the word to your family and friends so they can also take action.