On August 2nd the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 was defeated by the US Senate. This bill would have allowed big companies to track what we do on the Internet and then give that information to the government. The senate needed sixty votes in order for the bill to leave the debate stage and to go into the next step.
While this is great news for the cyber community, this does not mean that this is the end of this type of legislation. President Obama is currently looking at other ways to implement some aspects of this bill including using an executive order. The president is adamant about protecting the country from cyber threats. He feels that our current system is outdated and inadequate for today’s big threats.
This may be bad news for the president but those ordinary citizens of the United States are happy that this bill was stymied. The act made it clear that any information that passes over the Internet would be available to any government agency. Privacy is vital to those who use the Internet as a basic right in the constitution. Sure, we want to be safe but at what cost?
Most people who go online today understand how to protect themselves so they do not need the government to get involved with their online activities. We need the government to focus on those who are committing cyber crimes, not to invade our privacy under the guise of keeping us safe.
The EFF has gathered a coalition group that did not support this bill and has fought hard for the rights of Americans. This coalition is a nonprofit organization that wants to keep private communications private. The government and big business have much more to lose than the average American but there are ways that they can implement the security needed without affecting the citizens or monitoring their activities.
At the end of the day, the bill was not passed because it had too much invasive terminology. If the government is that worried about their cyber security, they should implement those changes they need to make at their level. The security of this country is not in the hands of the average citizens who posts on a social networking site.
–Guest post by Lisa Mason.
Lisa Mason works online as a writer and social media specialist. She uses the Internet every day and takes cyber security as well as privacy very seriously.