The US House of Representatives voted along partisan lines to pass CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) which arose from the ashes of SOPA and PIPA. This particular legislation will be of great concern to SEOs due to the extraordinarily broad powers it would grant to effectively take control of almost anything online in the US with no due process. The language of the bill includes many troubling passages for SEOs and any Internet user like the following: “broad sharing of information with governmental entities without establishing requirements for both industry and the government to minimize and protect personally identifiable information.”
The bill has been described as an “abdication of Americans’ online privacy. Basically put, the government would be granted the ability to snoop into any online activities and then unilaterally take any action to shut down anything it deems as a threat to security. Although legislators deny it, this could encroach on freedom of speech as well as privacy.
SEO’s and web users can take heart that president Obama has stated he intends to veto the bill should it reach his desk. The ACLU, among other rights advocacy groups, are actively campaigning against passage of the bill. While it seems unlikely it will ever be enacted, it is still quite a frightening measure to have to consider is close to potentially becoming a reality as it may be particularly harmful to any international use of the web due to their intended probes toward stemming terrorism both on and offline which could cause many innocents much grief.