To the Editor:
If we may take a break from arguing over gun control and other tax issues that are affecting our state and county, I would like to call attention to a bill recently passed by the House of Reps. that violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. It is called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) and it didn’t receive much media attention.
In a nutshell, CISPA will allow private sector companies--like Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and Twitter--to hand over data that they deem as “threatening information” to the U.S. government without any kind of warrant whatsoever. What does this mean for John Q. Public, you may ask? It means that your Fourth Amendment rights will no longer exist if so-called “incriminating data” can be given to the U.S. government without any probable cause.
What’s more troubling about the voting surrounded this bill was that our own Representative Bill Owens voted yes in favor of it. He was one of 92 Democrats to vote yes, despite the massive privacy concerns surrounding it.
If you are against Americans’ privacy and Fourth Amendment rights being trampled on, I would strongly suggest you contact Bill Owens and tell him that you are disappointed with his voting yes for this dangerous piece of legislation.
Remember what Benjamin Franklin said so many years ago: Those who prefer safety over freedom deserve neither. I think this statement still holds true, and out of touch politicians like Bill Owens need to remember it
John E. Calhoun, Potsdam