CISPA – Round 2 & How It Affects Your Business

CIPSAGuess what’s back in congress?

If you guessed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act better known as CISPA (H.R. 624) you are correct! On February 12th, 2013 R-MI Mike Rogers reintroduced the act to congress.

What does this do and how does it affect you and your business?

What Is CISPA Again?

To bring you up to speed, CISPA is a bill proposed by Mike Rogers with the ability to pass information freely between business and government in the name of cybersecurity.

This means if a company feels threatened by a cyber terrorist they have the ability to give all personal information of individuals on their network over to the government. What’s wrong with this picture?

Information would be passed between company and government.

Privacy Laws No Longer Valid

This act would completely bypass the privacy laws set in place in individual states.

CISPA’s co-sponsors have made some changes since the first time he brought CISPA up to congress, such as limiting its scope to a narrower definition of cyber-threat. The act now also says that the “theft of intellectual property” refers to the theft of research and development.

But none of the changes really fix the core issues with CISPA.

It does not limit private businesses sharing your personal information with the government. All they have to do is say it’s in the name of cybersecurity, or national security and that’s it! Suddenly that would mean it’s okay that your personal data can be handed over.

This means that companies can use your personal information however and whenever they want and there is no recourse for it.

It would also mean that spy agencies and the military could freely access your personally revealing information. Why should this even be a necessary step in protecting us on the cybersecurity front?

What CISPA Means For SMBs

As a business owner yes, you should have an option if you feel your business may have a potential cyber threat to do what you need to do to prevent something catastrophic from happening.

However, this bill is not how you should go about it.

You might have good intentions for your business and your customers, but no consumer actively wants their private information just handed over to the government.

Narrow The Scope

I am fine with the idea of increased cybersecurity but not at the cost of my private information being handed over to corporations and the government on a whim. We need to make things much more narrow in scope of what the amendment would actually do.

If there was an act that was more narrowly showed what was being done to protect our cybersecurity without a broad use of any one’s personal information that would be more likely accepted.

It should not allow private organizations to secretly trade personally identifiable information between other private organizations and the government.

What are your thoughts on CISPA? If it was to pass, how do you feel it would affect your business? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. If you have a suggestion for a topic we should cover, let us know!

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