Recently many controversial laws like cyber intelligence sharing and protection act (CISPA), computer fraud and abuse act 2013, preventing real online threats to economic creativity and theft of intellectual property act of 2011 (PIPA), stop online piracy act (SOPA), have been proposed.
Through a statement of administration policy on cyber intelligence sharing and protection act (CISPA), the Obama administration said CISPA treats domestic cyber security as an intelligence activity whereas it should be a civilian one.
CISPA was reintroduced to the US House in February 2013 that would allow the exchange of electronic information between Internet service providers and US government possible. The White House once again threatened to veto cyber intelligence sharing and protection act (CISPA) citing privacy concerns. However, CISPA has been passed by the House of Representatives and would now move to the Senate.
Meanwhile, the US proposed establishment of a data centre at Utah. In these circumstances the fears of e-surveillance and eavesdropping have cropped once again. However, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) recently denied that the proposed data center will be used to illegally eavesdrop on or monitor the emails of U.S. citizens.
NSA maintains that the state-of-the-art facility’s work would be used to support U.S. cyber security in accordance with U.S. laws that limit spying on U.S. citizens. Some former NSA employees raised concerns that the facility would be used to monitor the emails of U.S. citizens.
The NSA also maintained that it respects U.S. laws and American citizens’ civil liberties and its functioning is subject to broad oversight by all three branches of government. All wiretapping of U.S. citizens by the NSA requires a warrant from a three-judge court set up under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act passed in 1978.
However, former President George W. Bush issued an executive order shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that authorised the NSA to monitor certain phone calls without obtaining a warrant. Only time would tell what is the real purpose of the data centre in question.