5 posts tagged cispa
Targeted Hacker Jacob Appelbaum on CISPA, Surveillance and the “Militarization of Cyberspace”
The Obama administration didn’t threaten a veto. But it did say information-sharing bills must preserve “privacy and civil liberties” — something that critics say CISPA does not do.
by Declan McCullagh, April 17, 2012
The White House today expressed concerns about a controversial cybersecurity bill that would authorize Internet companies to divulge confidential customer records and communications.
Opposition from the Obama administration — which stopped short of a veto threat — could imperil the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which is scheduled for a House of Representatives floor vote next week. CISPA is intended to improve computer security by allowing companies and government agencies to share sensitive information.
In a statement provided to The Hill newspaper, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said:While information sharing legislation is an essential component of comprehensive legislation to address critical infrastructure risks, information sharing provisions must include robust safeguards to preserve the privacy and civil liberties of our citizens. Legislation without new authorities to address our nation’s critical infrastructure vulnerabilities, or legislation that would sacrifice the privacy of our citizens in the name of security, will not meet our nation’s urgent needs.
Three months ago, the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, was defeated by a broad alliance of companies and civil liberties groups. But no such coalition exists here: the House Intelligence committee proudly lists letters of support from Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle, Symantec, Verizon, AT&T, and Intel (which today called CISPA an “important step forward”). And over two dozen trade associations sent a letter to Congress today (PDF) applauding “greater sharing of information.”
Civil liberties groups, on the other hand, remain steadfastly opposed to legal authorization for such broad information-sharing. The American Library Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the libertarian-leaning TechFreedom, and other groups launched a “Stop Cyber Spying” campaign yesterday — complete with a write-your-congresscritter-via-Twitter app — and over 670,000 people have signed an anti-CISPA Web petition.
I knew Obama wouldn’t veto CISPA. After all, he didn’t just not veto NDAA - he asked for it. Even the Tech companies don’t care about CISPA - after all, they can profit by selling private information to the government.
Protest Targets Internet Censorship Bill Known As CISPA
Civil liberties groups on Monday launched protests targeting proposed US cyber intelligence law that they fear would let police freely dip into people’s private online information.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Reporters Without Borders were among organizations that signaled the start of a week of Internet protests against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).
“A blanket monitoring system is never an appropriate solution,” Reporters Without Borders said in a release calling for Congress to reject the CISPA legislation introduced in November of last year.
“Freedom of expression and the protection of online privacy are increasingly under threat in democratic countries, where a series of bills and draft laws is sacrificing them in the interests of national security or copyright.”
The EFF released an online tool for US residents to find Twitter accounts of their representatives in Congress to target messages about the threat CISPA poses to privacy in day-to-day lives.
“CIPSA would allow ISPs, social networking sites, and anyone else handling Internet communications to monitor users and pass information to the government without any judicial oversight,” said EFF activism director Rainey Reitman.
“The language of this bill is dangerously vague, so that personal online activity — from the mundane to the intimate — could be implicated.”
Powerful CISPA Infographic
CISPA Replaces SOPA As Internet’s Enemy No. 1 (Must Read)
The Internet has a new enemy. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA), also known as H.R. 3523, is a “cybersecurity” bill in the House of Representatives. While CISPA does not focus primarily on intellectual property (though that’s in there, too), critics say the problems with the bill run just as deep.
As with SOPA and PIPA, the first main concern about CISPA is its “broad language,” which critics fear allows the legislation to be interpreted in ways that could infringe on our civil liberties. The Center for Democracy and Technology sums up the problems with CISPA this way:
• The bill has a very broad, almost unlimited definition of the information that can be shared with government agencies notwithstanding privacy and other laws;
• The bill is likely to lead to expansion of the government’s role in the monitoring of private communications as a result of this sharing;
• It is likely to shift control of government cybersecurity efforts from civilian agencies to the military;
• Once the information is shared with the government, it wouldn’t have to be used for cybesecurity, but could instead be used for any purpose that is not specifically prohibited.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) adds that CISPA’s definition of “cybersecurity” is so broad that “it leaves the door open to censor any speech that a company believes would ‘degrade the network.’”
Moreover, the inclusion of “intellectual property” means that companies and the government would have “new powers to monitor and censor communications for copyright infringement.”
Furthermore, critics warn that CISPA gives private companies the ability to collect and share information about their customers or users with immunity — meaning we cannot sue them for doing so, and they cannot be charged with any crimes.
According to the EFF, CISPA “effectively creates a ‘cybersecurity’ exemption to all existing laws.”
“There are almost no restrictions on what can be collected and how it can be used, provided a company can claim it was motivated by ‘cybersecurity purposes.’” the EFF continues.
“That means a company like Google, Facebook, Twitter, or AT&T could intercept your emails and text messages, send copies to one another and to the government, and modify those communications or prevent them from reaching their destination if it fits into their plan to stop cybersecurity threats.”