A mixed-methods approach was taken to study the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), recent legislation that would have considerable effects on the digital landscape. The combined methods help to define the problems underlying the legislation by defining stakeholders and isolating views from various media sources. The theoretical examinations of landscape studies, communications geography and Panopticism combined with methodology in political geography, and media analysis helps to develop a multi-angled view of the current perspective on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. Landscape studies, with roots in Sauer's seminal work, "The Morphology of Landscape," contributed to the narrative of the research by helping to construct a sense of place. Communications geography and critical GIS help to ground the digital landscape in the field of geography. Political geography and the choropleth map illustrate the spatial patterns of politics surrounding the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, concluding that widespread approval of the legislation in the House of Representatives spans mostly rural Republican areas, while lack of support comes from more Democratic areas. Discourse analysis and term frequency analysis assist in the utilization of the internet as text, evaluating media responses to the legislation. Overall, the three media type nodes analyzed included mainstream media, personal blogs, and tech blogs. These nodes had a homogeneous view against the proposed legislation with subtle differences in word frequency around one percent of the corpus. The media corpus was then analyzed against the legislation's word frequency, showing remarkable differences. For example, the word "privacy" occurred close to thirty percent in CISPA compared to the one percent in the media corpus. Reading through the documents, a consensus was made that though the legislation mentions protecting the privacy of internet users, it lacks methods to ensure it, which was one of the defining problems that has prevented the legislation's passage in the Senate.


Forrest D. Wilkerson

Committee Member

Ginger L. Schmid

Committee Member

Cynthia A. Miller

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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