Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) on Thursday compared controversial cyber security legislation to George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel 1984.
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) would authorize Internet companies, such as Internet service providers and social networking sites, to share private online communications and other data about possible attacks with federal agencies.
“This bill would grant the government broad authority to share information between intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and use it for virtually any purpose defined as important to ‘cyber security or national security,’” Johnson said on the House floor. “I know it’s 2012, but it sure feels like 1984 in this House today.”
The legislation is meant to address the growing threat of cyber attacks on U.S. infrastructure. But critics like the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation say the bill goes too far and essentially permits mass surveillance.
“If you value liberty, privacy and the Constitution, then you will vote no on CISPA,” Johnson said.
The House passed the bill on Thursday night.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below:
[Ed. note: Updated after publication]