Next week when the House Intelligence Committee takes up the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA - HR 624) it will hold its markup hearing behind closed doors and away from the prying eyes of the general public and critics of the bill. Not only will this hide the discussion lawmakers have about this bill, but it will also allow them to stealthily make any amendments to the bill they like without having to worry about immediate scrutiny from anyone.
The Center for Democracy and Technology issued a statement earlier this week pointing out that lawmakers could make some changes to the bill that would make it perfectly acceptable by a lot of its critics and that lawmakers need to be transparent in the process of debating and shaping CISPA in markup meetings.
"While we hope that the transparency and public debate that we promote today by releasing these documents will lead to significant improvements in the legislation, we are under no illusions: CISPA has fundamental flaws and we seek significant changes," the CDT said in a blog post earlier this week. "If they are not made, CDT will continue to oppose the bill."
"We also urge the House Intelligence Committee to open its process to the light of day. Last year, the Committee conducted the mark up of CISPA in secret. This fosters distrust and public misunderstanding. This year, it should hold an open mark up of CISPA. Amendments should be published in advance, so they can be assessed."
If you'd like to let your elected representative in Congress know that you don't like CISPA, you can do so through the Entertainment Consumers Association's Advocacy campaign.
[GamePolitics is an ECA publication.]