The latest effort by the US government to thwart cyber crime comes by way of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) passed by the House of Representatives just a couple of weeks ago. In response, web hosting company HostGator stated its official position on the legislation in a recent blog post.
According to Host Gator’s Sean Valant, the new legislation is potentially even more threatening than SOPA because it takes the U.S. government’s authority to the next level. Where the previous legislation required web hosts and others in the Internet business to take action against supposed security threats, this legislation gives the U.S. government broad authority to spy on its own citizens even when no threat has been officially recognized. It further enables the federal government to ostensibly shut down websites and servers without ample safeguards in place to protect consumers.
“Criminals should absolutely be investigated, prosecuted and punished if found guilty,” Valant wrote. “However, the scope of this bill is far too broad to be an effective piece of legislation and lacks any clear parameters as to what would constitute a justifiable suspicion, or when and how the government can monitor your internet browsing information; basically making all of us potential suspects, guilty until proven innocent.”
HostGator’s Valant maintains the legislation is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” because it allows the government unfettered access to online activities without the burden of proof normally needed before officials can conduct electronic surveillance. The U.S. Senate may have trouble giving the thumbs up to this one, though President Obama promises to veto it if they do.