Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Kiran Sidhu


This note examines one of the many pieces of cybersecurity legislation currently before Congress, the Cyber Intelligence Protection and Sharing Act (“CISPA”). This note illustrates CISPA’s deleterious effects on the privacy and security of American citizens as a result of its provisions that provide federal agencies and private companies legal immunity for sharing private information. However, this note ultimately avers that bills like CISPA will have a particularly negative impact on civil rights demonstrators–and especially demonstrators belonging to minority groups–given the U.S. history of surveillance of such groups during periods of social and political unrest. As such, this note will argue that protestors involved with the Black Lives Matter movement should incorporate efforts to defeat cyber security legislation as part of their overall civil rights movement. This note will also propose that demonstrators utilize the highly successful strategy crafted and employed by technology companies during the anti-SOPA strikes to effectively stop legislation like CISPA from becoming law, but will assert that activists should not rely on technology companies to assist them given the legal protection that CISPA provides such companies.