What Is The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) ???
is a proposed law in the United States which would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and certain technology and manufacturing companies. The stated aim of the bill is to help the U.S government investigate cyber threats and ensure the security of networks against cyberattack.
The legislation was introduced on November 30, 2011 by U.S. Representative Michael Rogers (R-MI) and 111 co-sponsors. It was passed in the House of Representatives on April 26, 2012, but was not passed by the U.S. Senate. President Obama's advisers have argued that the bill lacks confidentiality and civil liberties safeguards and they advise the president to veto it. In February 2013 the bill was reintroduced in the House.
CISPA has been criticized by advocates of Internet privacy and civil liberties, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Avaaz.org. Those groups argue CISPA contains too few limits on how and when the government may monitor a private individual’s Internet browsing information. Additionally, they fear that such new powers could be used to spy on the general public rather than to pursue malicious hackers.
CISPA has garnered favor from corporations and lobbying groups such as Microsoft,Facebook and the United States Chamber of Commerce, which look on it as a simple and effective means of sharing important cyber threat information with the government. Microsoft and Facebook no longer support the legislation.
04.26.13Some critics saw CISPA as a second attempt at strengthening digital piracy laws after the anti-piracy Stop Online Piracy Act became deeply unpopular. Intellectual property theft was initially listed in the bill as a possible cause for sharing Web traffic information with the government, though it was removed in subsequent drafts.
CISPA Is Dead. Now Let’s Resurrect It
BY JULIAN SANCHEZ
The controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) now appears to be dead in the Senate, despite having passed the House by a wide margin earlier this month. Though tech, finance, and telecom firms with a combined $650 million in lobbying muscle supported the bill, opposition from privacy groups, internet activists, and ultimately the White House (which threatened to veto the law) seem to have proven fatal for now.For all the heated rhetoric surrounding the CISPA legislation — predictions of an impending Digital Pearl Harbor matched by dire warnings of Big Brother surveillance — the controversy was almost entirely unnecessary.We’ve grown so accustomed to hearing about the problem of ‘balancing privacy and security’ that it feels like the two are forever in conflict.Americans have grown so accustomed to hearing about the problem of “balancing privacy and security” that it sometimes feels as though the two are always and forever in conflict — that an initiative to improve security can’t possibly be very effective unless it’s invading privacy. Yet the conflict is often illusory: A cybersecurity law could easily be drafted that would accomplish all the goals of both tech companies and privacy groups withoutraising any serious civil liberties problems.Few object to what technology companies and the government say they want to do in practice: pool data about the activity patterns of hacker-controlled “botnets,” or the digital signatures of new viruses and other malware. This information poses few risks to the privacy of ordinary users. Yet CISPA didn’t authorize only this kind of narrowly limited information sharing. Instead, it gave companies blanket immunity for feeding the government vaguely-defined “threat indicators” — anything from users’ online habits to the contents of private e-mails — creating a broad loophole in all federal and state privacy laws and even in private contracts and user agreements.Given that recent experience has shown companies shielded by secrecy often err on the side of oversharing with the government, that loophole was a key concern. So why the gap between what the law permits and its supporters’ aims?It’s a principle wonks call tech neutrality. Nobody wants to write a bill that refers too specifically to the information needed to protect current networks (like “Internet Protocol addresses” or “Netflow logs”) since technological evolution would render such language obsolete over time.Unfortunately, the alternative has been to extend a broad, vague immunity for sharing and attach a series of back-end restrictions designed to prevent misuse.Fortunately, there’s a better way: A law embodying three simple principles could permit all the sharing that’s actually useful for security purposes … without compromising privacy.Respect Contractual Agreements With UsersCISPA’s broad immunity effectively overrode contractual promisesnot to share particular types of data. A more limited immunity would not only create space for diverse users and companies to determine what degree of information sharing they find acceptable, it would also compensate for the vagueness inherent in CISPA’s broad tech neutral definitions.Instead of creating an indiscriminate loophole, a new and improved CISPA should establish immunity from state and federal criminal statutes that limit information sharing by communications service providers — but require the companies to “opt in” to the protection by giving users more specific details about the categories of information they intend to share.This approach leaves the statutory definitions flexible enough to deal with evolving technology, but guarantees users will have clearnotice of what companies plan to share and advance warning if some seem disposed to overshare. Companies would then have some market incentive not to disclose more than is really necessary for security purposes, and users would retain a legal mechanism to punish companies that break their own privacy promises.Strip Out Personal Information From Shared DataCompanies — not the government — should be responsible for stripping out personal information from their data before it’s shared, as they’ve already said they’re perfectly capable of doing. There’s no need to share such data for security purposes anyway: Kevin Mandia, head of the cybersecurity firm Mandiant, insisted at a February hearing on CISPA that in 20 years in the industry, he had “never seen a package of threat intelligence that’s actionable” that included personally identifiable information.Nobody wants to write a bill that refers too specifically to the information needed to protect current networks since technological evolution would render such language obsolete over time.Of course, some kinds of theoretically anonymous information — such as IP addresses — are useful for security but also capable of being tied back to individual users if linked with other databases.To ensure that anonymous data stays anonymous, the law should limit the sharing of raw data to a designated civilian agency, like the Department of Homeland Security, and ensure that only aggregate information or derivative analyses are subsequently shared with entities like the National Security Agency, whose vast trove of data might allow them to tie numbers to names.Erase the DataInformation shared with the government should come stamped with what geeks call time-to-live (TTL), a marker that tells a computer system when a particular packet of data should be automatically erased.The primary purpose of information sharing is to provide a real-time early warning system that could detect patterns suggesting an impending attack before it happens. But that data has little practical use a week or two after the fact — which means there’s no legitimate cybersecurity purpose served by retaining it longer than that.When particular types of data are needed for longer — the government begins a criminal investigation into an attack, for instance — current law gives law enforcement ample recourse. They already have the power to issue “preservation orders” requiring private companies to hang on to data that may be useful in an investigation, data which can then be obtained using traditional tools like subpoenas and court orders. And victims of an attack (as opposed to their internet provider) can already share data without such restrictions.Mandating a TTL for CISPA-shared information avoids what is probably the central civil concern about the law: that it would lead to the creation of a vast database of detailed information about internet activity — one that would eventually tempt the government to use it for other purposes.***With these features, new legislation would achieve all the essential aims of CISPA’s sponsors — while leaving civil libertarians with little to object to.That lawmakers haven’t already simply incorporated such safeguards suggests that perhaps they, too, have fallen victim to zero-sum thinking about privacy and security, wrongly assuming that less of the former automatically yields more of the latter.The sooner they — and we — recognize that fallacy, the sooner Americans can get legislation that protects both.
Myth v. Fact
Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2013
MYTH:A) This legislation creates a wide-ranging government surveillance program.FACT:
- The bill has nothing to do with government surveillance; rather it simply provides narrow authority to share anonymous cyber threat information between the government and the private sector so they can protect their networks and their customers’ private information.
- The bill does not require anyone to provide information to or receive information from the government. The entire program would be voluntary.
- The bill creates no new authorities for the government to monitor private networks or communications.
MYTH:B) The definition of “cyber threat information” in the bill is too broad.FACT:
- Under the bill a company may only identify and share cyber threat information for “cybersecurity purposes”; that is only when they are seeking to protect their own systems or networks.
- The bill defines “cyber threat information” as a vulnerability of a system or network, a threat to the integrity, confidentiality or availability of such a system or network, or efforts to gain unauthorized access to the system or network.
- The definition also excludes information pertaining to efforts to gain unauthorized access to a system or network of a government or private entity that solely involve violations or consumer terms of service or consumer licensing agreements and do not otherwise constitute unauthorized access.
- The bill would require the Federal Government to notify an entity voluntarily sharing cyber threat information with the government if the government determines that the shared information is not in fact cyber threat information.
MYTH:C) The bill permits surveillance for law enforcement or other purposes by the government once the information is voluntarily shared by the private sector.FACT:
- The definition of a “protected entity” excludes individuals, preventing an Internet Service Provider from sharing information about one of its individual customers.
- The bill would require the Federal Government to notify an entity voluntarily sharing cyber threat information with the government if the government determines that the shared information is not in fact cyber threat information and the information shared with the government is narrowly restricted to a small number of uses: (1) cybersecurity; (2) investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crimes; (3) protection of individuals from the danger of death or physical injury; (4) protection of minors from physical or psychological harm such as child pornography; and (5) protection of the national security of the United States.
- D) The bill will allow the federal government unfettered access to read private emails without a warrant.FACT:
- The highly rapid and automated nature of cyber threat information sharing already lessens the concern that an individual’s private information is being read or mined by someone. Private sector companies protect their networks by scanning their traffic with high-speed automated systems—often without any human involvement—looking for specific digital patterns of malware and vulnerabilities. The overwhelming majority of traffic is ignored by these systems, which only alert on problems or abnormalities.
- The government can only use and retain information for five purposes: (1) cybersecurity; (2) investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crimes; (3) protection of individuals from the danger of death or physical injury; (4) protection of minors from physical or psychological harm; and (5) protection of the national security of the United States.
- The bill provides clear authority to the Federal Government to undertake reasonable efforts to limit the impact on privacy and civil liberties in the act of sharing the cyber threat information.
MYTH:E) There is no oversight of or accountability for this new program.FACT:
- The bill requires the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General to annually review and report on the government’s handling and use of information that has been shared by the private sector under this bill to prevent and remedy any instances of abuse.
- The bill provides that the government shall be liable to an adversely affected person for intentional or willful violations with respect to disclosure, use, or protection of voluntarily shared cyber threat information and provides for damages for such violations.
MYTH:F) The government will amass countless amounts of data on U.S. citizens which will sit on government computer servers.FACT:
- The bill prohibits the Federal Government from retaining or using information other than for purposes specified in the legislation.
Call, E-mail, Tweet or Facebook your elected officials and demand to know why they sold our civil liberties off!
Full List of every US Congressman with who Voted Yes below with their office number.
Republicans voted 196 Yes and 29 No.
Democrats voted 92 Yes and 96 No.
- Full List (PDF) of every US Senators Office Number to Call : HERE
- Demand Obama Veto CISPA if it passes the Senate! | HERE
- Make Sure #CISPA Dies In The Senate | HERE
This is how the Arizona Representatives voted on CISPA in Congress. 7 out of 9 Arizona House Representatives voted Yes including 4/5 Democrats!
CISPA PASSED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES!!
FINAL ROLL CALL for CISPA US Congress Vote 288-127
Now the vote goes to the Senate. Time to keep the pressure on and contact our representatives. Senate voting could begin as early as tomorrow. Today's action is to contact your senators and tell them to stand with their constituents in voting NO on CISPA. | HERE
^Use this form to easily contact your Senator. Stay tuned for more updates.
House fails to pass CISPA Amendment that would require a warrant for database searches in accordance with the 4th Amendment:HERE
Occupy Seattle Media Team compilation on CISPA and why it's important to stop:HERE
US Representatives that voted for CISPA 4/18/13
You can double check here HERE
CISPA would allow the government access to your private emails, chats, phone calls over the internet, and much more without a warrant.
#CISPA #endcispa #stopcispa #RIPAaronSwartz
April 25, 2013It still has to pass the Senate. The Obama administration has already threatened to veto it twice (once earlier this week). But they also did so with the NDAA. So call your Senators, inform people, make noise, focus. Don't be distracted by fear or soundbites.In peace,MSPeople Against the NDAA
April 19, 2013ACLU: CISPA Is Dead (For Now)The Senate will not take up the controversial cybersecurity bill, is drafting separate legislationSen. Jay Rockefeller says CISPA's passage was "important," but its "privacy protections are insufficient."CISPA is all but dead, again.The controversial cybersecurity bill known as the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act, which passed the House of Representatives last week, will almost certainly be shelved by the Senate, according to a representative of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.The bill would have allowed the federal government to share classified "cyber threat" information with companies, but it also provided provisions that would have allowed companies to share information about specific users with the government. Privacy advocates also worried that the National Security Administration would have gotten involved."We're not taking [CISPA] up," the committee representative says. "Staff and senators are divvying up the issues and the key provisions everyone agrees would need to be handled if we're going to strengthen cybersecurity. They'll be drafting separate bills."Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., chairman of the committee, said the passage of CISPA was "important," but said the bill's "privacy protections are insufficient."That, coupled with the fact that President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill, has even CISPA's staunchest opponents, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, ready to bury CISPA and focus on future legislation."I think it's dead for now," says Michelle Richardson, legislative council with the ACLU. "CISPA is too controversial, it's too expansive, it's just not the same sort of program contemplated by the Senate last year. We're pleased to hear the Senate will probably pick up where it left off last year."That's not to say Congress won't pass any cybersecurity legislation this year. Both Rockefeller and President Obama want to give American companies additional tools to fight back against cyberattacks from domestic and foreign hackers.But cybersecurity legislation in the Senate, such as the Cybersecurity and American Cyber Competitiveness Act of 2013, has greater privacy protections than CISPA does. Richardson says that bill makes it clear that companies would have to "pull out sensitive data [about citizens]" before companies send it to the government and also puts the program under "unequivocal civilian control," something CISPA author Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., was unwilling to do.Even if the Senate gets something done, Rogers and other CISPA supporters will likely have to compromise more than they've been willing to over the past year as Obama has made it clear he will veto legislation that doesn't have more privacy protections."The way [Rogers] talks, [the House] has gone as far as they possibly can on privacy," Richardson says. "I don't know if that's true and I'm not sure how they'll respond when the Senate puts something back to them. But if they don't figure out a compromise, they might not get any legislation at all."The commerce representative says that the Senate committee is "working toward separate bills" to improve cybersecurity, which are currently being drafted. But don't expect these bills soon, as the Senate considers immigration, an Internet sales tax, the aftermath of the Boston bombing and the Federal Aviation Administration's air traffic control crisis in the wake of sequestration.Richardson says she thinks it'll be at least three months before the Senate takes a vote on any cybersecurity legislation."We need to be vigilant as the year moves on to make sure that whatever the next product is, it's not CISPA-lite," she says. "I think this is probably going to take the rest of the year."WATCH : HERE
April 18, 2013CISPA Supporters Spend 140 Times As Much Money Lobbying as OpponentsCISPA passed the House Thursday, Obama has threatened to veto without more privacy protectionsActivists and Internet users protesting the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act – a cybersecurity bill that passed the House of Representatives Thursday – have spun the battle as big business interests versus the privacy of individual citizens. If lobbying dollars are anything to go by, they're right: Pro-CISPA businesses and interests have spent 140 times more money on lobbying than anti-CISPA interests, according to the SunlightFoundation.From 2011 through the third quarter of 2012, backers of CISPA spent $605 million on lobbying; anti-CISPA groups spent just $4.3 million. While it's impossible to know how much of the lobbying was spent on any one issue (the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which supports CISPA, spent $162 million during this time on countless issues), those fighting the bill say the numbers are indicative of the uphill battle they are fighting."I am not surprised to see corporations spending significant amounts of money lobbying on CISPA," says Rainey Reitman, activism director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the most outspoken critics of the bill. "Keep in mind that CISPA has sweeping liability protections for companies, making it a sweetheart deal for companies. That's no coincidence."Anti-CISPA organizations that have spent money lobbying during that period include the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Library Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Constitution Project.Few companies have spoken out against CISPA, which would allow the government to share classified "cyber threat" information with companies in order to help them protect their network. But privacy advocates say that the bill also allows companies to share private information on citizens with the government.According to Open Secrets, 208 different organizations registered to lobby on last year's version of CISPA, with Verizon, AT&T, Google and Yahoo being the most active. Tech companies, many of which were against the Stop Online Piracy Act (a bill that would have blocked certain websites that contained copyrighted materials), haven't spoken with their wallets on CISPA. According to Map Light, tech companies spent some $5.7 million opposing SOPA; on CISPA, they spent just $17,000 (with most of that coming from Craigslist, Mozilla and Reddit employees).
Legislation Preventing Employers From Asking for Facebook Passwords DefeatedSeveral high profile cases of employers asking for social media passwords led to proposal
April 18, 2013A last-minute proposed amendment to the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act that would have made it illegal for employers or the federal government to ask for employees' or prospective employees' Facebook passwords was defeated in the House of Representatives 224-188 along party lines, with Republicans knocking it down.Watch : HERERep. Ed Perlmutter D-Colo. said he offered the amendment due to an emerging trend of companies asking for prospective employees' social media passwords before offering them a job. He said his amendment is similar to legislation that prevents employers from requiring polygraph tests as a condition of employment."Let me boil [it] down: these are two direct and simple paragraphs that say as a condition of employment, you can't be made to give up a password to your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn accounts," Perlmutter said. "This thing has exploded. People are being asked for their private passwords to various social media networks."Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., sponsor of the CISPA bill, said Perlmutter's amendment was nothing more than an attempt to kill the law, a claim Perlmutter denied."This has nothing to do with our bill," Rogers said, suggesting the issue should be tackled with separate legislation.Last year, Maryland became the first state to make it illegal for employers to ask for employees' Facebook passwords.
Texas Congressman Uses Boston Bombing to Argue for CISPA Passage
Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, used the Boston bombings to argue Thursday for the passage of CISPA, a controversial bill that would allow private companies to share information about cyber threats with the federal government."I think if anything, the recent events in Boston demonstrate, that we have to come together to get this done in name," McCaul said at a House hearing where several amendments of the bill were debated. "In the case of Boston, they were real bombs. In this case they're digital bombs. These bombs are on their way. That's why this legislation is so urgent. For if we don't and those digital bombs land and attack the United States, and Congress failed to act, then Congress has that on his hands."The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act is expected to pass the House despite a campaign against the bill from civil rights groups who say the sharing of such information threatens online privacy.
18 Apr 2013
The US House of Representatives has passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act in a 288-to-127 vote. The free flow of information online is now in serious jeopardy as the Obama administration is preparing to sign the bill into law in an attempt to gain a tighter grip of control over the dissemination of information. | WATCH : HEREUS House of Representatives passes CISPA cybersecurity bill: | HERE
Apr. 18, 2013, 1:27 PM
Read more: HERE
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA) by a vote of 288 to 127, RT reports.
Declan McCullough of CNET details why the bill — which encourages private businesses to voluntarily share "cyberthreat information" with the U.S. government —has privacy advocates up in arms.
McCullough explains that the legislation "authorizes federal agencies to conduct warrantless searches of information they obtain from e-mail and Internet providers," meaning that allows government agencies to collect vast amounts of data from private companies.
Furthermore, the bill overrides existing privacy policies and wiretap laws, so the feds would be able to "compile a database of information shared by private companies and search that information for possible violations of hundreds, if not thousands, of criminal laws."
The House Intelligence committee contends that any claim that "this legislation creates a wide-ranging government surveillance program" is untrue.
But groups including the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation argue that the bill allows for collection of potentially sensitive such as Internet records and contents of emails which could then be used "without meaningful oversight for purposes unrelated to cybersecurity."
CISPA now heads to the Senate and could soon end up on the President Obama's desk to potentially sign into law. Earlier this week senior White House advisers recommended that the president veto the bill, citing concerns that the bill does not adequately prevent sharing of irrelevant personal information.
Read more: HERE
Mark M. Jaycox and Kurt Opsahl and Rainey Reitman
[Editor's note: This article appeared yesterday at EFF.org]
Yesterday, the US House prepared for the debate on the privacy-invading “cybersecurity” bill called CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. The rules committee hearing was the last stop before the bill is voted on by the full House.
The bill may be voted on as early as Wednesday. This means there’s little time left to speak out. Please tell your Representative to vote no on the bill:Here are some of the takeaways from the hearing.Rep. Rogers Dismisses CISPA Opponents as Teenage Basement Tweeters
Of course, many people oppose CISPA — several thousand of whom tweeted at Rogers after his remark.
Internet companies like Mozilla, Reddit, NameCheap, Gandi.net, and other have also come out strong against the bill. And over 70 cybersecurity experts and academics sent a joint letter opposing CISPA last year, expressing their firm opposition to the dangers of Roger’s approach to computer security:
We have devoted our careers to building security technologies, and to protecting networks, computers, and critical infrastructure against attacks of many stripes. We take security very seriously, but we fervently believe that strong computer and network security does not require Internet users to sacrifice their privacy and civil liberties.
Earlier this week, 34 civil liberties groups sent a letter opposing CISPA in its current form.
Rep. Rogers Makes The Case For Why Representatives Should Vote NoAnd the newest addition to CISPA opposition? The White House, which issued a veto threat (PDF) yesterday.
Rep. Rogers is adamant that no sensitive personal information or email content will be collected under the bill and then sent to the federal government. Under questioning from Rep. Polis, Rogers said “Again, zeroes and ones, hundreds of millions of times a second, in patterns. It has nothing to do with content. Nothing.”
First of all, of course it’s zeros and ones. That’s how information is passed in the digital environment–whether it is content or not. If Rogers is going to propose fundamentally changing privacy on the Internet, he ought to know that the contents of email are transferred with zeros and ones in patterns.
Reducing Confidence in the InternetSecond, if Rogers really meant this, there is an easy solution. Exclude the content of communications from the bill. Voila! Companies would not be able to transfer the content of anyone’s email under the bill, whether in the form of zeros and ones, or by carrier pigeon.
Rep. Polis spoke candidly during the hearing about some of the detrimental effects CISPA could have on Internet users’ trust in online services:
Rep. Rogers was not convinced, asserting this would not be a problem. He’s wrong. CISPA gives legal immunity to companies who share your information under the bill, with no exception for privacy policies or user agreements that promise to protect your privacy. Even worse, core privacy laws like the Privacy Act, Cable Communications Policy Act, the Wiretap Act, the Video Privacy Protection Act, and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act will be decimated by CISPA, robbed of their power to protect you when it comes to this so-called cybersecurity sharing.
Privacy Amendments Aren’t Allowed to Proceed For A Full House VoteHowever, this amendment was not allowed to proceed to the floor for a vote.
The hearing ended with the decision on which amendments would be allowed for consideration during the floor vote. In all, 42 amendments were submitted to CISPA – the majority of which dealt with privacy and civil liberties problems with the bill. Only 12 were allowed to go to the floor for a full vote.
Among the amendments that will not move forward are forward-thinking proposals by Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), both of whom suggested amendments that would address some of the core privacy concerns in CISPA. The first (PDF), championed by Rep. Schakowsky, would require that the first point of sharing information with the federal government must be with a civilian agency, so that U.S. military or defense agencies won’t directly collect or receive cyber information on American citizens.
Another amendment (PDF) promoted by Rep Schiff, requires companies sharing information with the government or other private entities under the bill make “reasonable efforts” to remove personally identifiable information of individuals unrelated to the cyber threat.
At first the chairmen didn’t even allow a vote on whether or not these amendments could be presented to the full house for a vote. A vote on the amendments was held by the committee only after Democrats raised the issue.
Say No To CISPAUnfortunately, both amendments were ruled out of order – along with many others that would have addressed civil liberties issues. This means that fixing the bill through floor amendments –which was always unlikely–is now clearly impossible. EFF is urging Representatives to oppose the bill in the upcoming vote.
CISPA will likely be up for a vote in the next 24 hours. CISPA is still riddled with problems and must be stopped. Tell your Congressmen now to say no to CISPA.
The House is about to vote on the “cybersecurity” bill known as CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. Despite recent amendments, CISPA still features dangerously vague language that could put your personal information in the hands of military organizations like the National Security Agency.
While CISPA passed through the House last year, it failed to be enacted after a veto threat. This year’s bill fails to solve the fundamental privacy and civil liberties problems with the misguided law. Please speak out! We’re asking individuals to call Representatives and follow up with a tweet.
Click here if you’re not in the United States.
This article was posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 12:09 pmSuggested script:Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME] and I am a constituent of [Congressperson's name]. Please oppose H.R.624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, also known as CISPA. It is a misguided bill that violates my privacy. I believe that the right cybersecurity solution does not involve sacrificing the privacy rights of Internet users. Thank you for your consideration, and for acting against this dangerous bill.Phone lines closed?If you call and the phone lines are already closed or overwhelmed, please send an email.Spread the word!Excellent! Now that you’ve made the call, use our Twitter tool to tell key members of Congress to stand up for your privacy and vote NO on CISPA and to help spread the word.
- CISPA sponsor: Obama will back down from his veto promise
- Red Alert: Draconian CISPA Bill Picking Up Sponsors Ahead of Vote Next Week
- Is New Cyber Security Bill (CISPA) An End-Run around Privacy Restrictions?
- CISPA passes the House; epic privacy battle moves to the Senate
- CISPA: Greatest Threat to Cybersecurity (& The Free Internet)
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a final vote on CISPA could be as early as today, go to HERE, and call or email your senators and tell them this is unacceptable, or sign EFF's petition here - HERE . We beat them by doing so last year, and we can do it again this year, if we are United!!! | HERE
US House of Representatives passes CISPA cybersecurity billThe US House of Representatives has passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act (CISPA).
Lawmakers in the House voted 288-to-127 Thursday afternoon to accept the bill. Next it will move to the Senate and could then end up on the desk of US President Barack Obama for him to potentially sign the bill into law. Earlier this week, though, senior White House advisers said they would recommend the president veto the bill.
Should CISPA earn the president’s autograph, private businesses will be encouraged to voluntarily share cyberthreat information with the US government. The authors of the bill say this is an effort to better combat the reportedly increasing attempts to harm America’s critical computer networks and pilfer the systems of private companies for intellectual property and other sensitive trade secrets.
One of the bill’s creators, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland), said during a round of debate on Wednesday that $400 billion worth of American trade secrets are being stolen by US companies every year. Passing CISPA, he said, would be a common sense solution to a threat that’s growing at an alarming rate.
“If your house is being robbed, you call 911 and the police department comes. That’s the same scenario we are looking at here,” he said.
Also testifying Wednesday, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Florida) said CISPA could be used to combat the 25 million cybercrime victims she claims are targeted every day.
That same day, CISPA co-author Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) stressed that his bill doesn’t extend any extra surveillance powers to the federal government, despite condemnation from critics that say exactly that. “It does something very simple: it allows the government to share zeroes and ones with the private sector,” he said. Rather, he called it "a critical bipartisan first step for enabling American’s private sector to defend itself" and "improves cybersecurity without compromising our civil liberties."
“We have yet to find a single United States company that opposes this bill,” said Rep. Rogers.
But companies do in fact oppose CISPA, including a number of entities that carry a good deal of clout around both Silicon Valley and inside the beltway. Just last month Facebook rescinded their support of the act, according to Cnet’s Declan McCullagh, because a spokesperson for the social media site says they prefer a legislative "balance" that ensures "the privacy of our users.”
After CISPA was unsuccessfully introduced to Congress last year — only to stall in the Senate — Microsoft endorsed the act only to eventually do an about-face.
“Microsoft believes that any proposed legislation should facilitate the voluntary sharing of cyber threat information in a manner that allows us to honor the privacy and security promises we make to our customers,” the company’s Scott Charney told McCullagh at the time.
But just last week, TechNet President Rey Ramsey sent a letter to Reps. Rogers and Ruppersberger saying his group thinks CISPA "recognizes the need for effective cybersecurity legislation that encourages voluntary, bi-directional, real time sharing of actionable cyberthreat information to protect networks," but that further work may be needed. TechNet’s Executive Council includes Yahoo's Marissa Mayer, Google's Eric Schmidt and Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith.
Web browser makers Mozilla oppose the bill, as does the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union, and last year’s attempt to pass CISPA after it was unveiled for a first time prompted the White House to issue a veto warning then. In the months since the bill stalled in the Senate, though, the president has on his own part urged Congress to adopt a new cybersecurity bill.
In February, Pres. Obama signed an executive order that urges his administration to begin working towards improving cybersecurity protections until Congress can craft a bill. Hours later, he said during his annual State of the Union address how imperative legislation action is.
“Earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs and our privacy. Now, Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks,” the president said.
But in the veto threat extended by his office earlier this week, the White House writes, “the Administration still seeks additional improvements and if the bill, as currently crafted, were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) corroborated on that statement during Thursday’s pre-vote discussion, vowing to cast her ballot against CISPA because it did not, in her opinion, protect the privacy of Americans to the degree it should.
“I’m disappointed,” said the congresswoman, “that we did not address some of the concerns mentioned by the White House about personal information. Unfortunately, it offers no policies and did not allow any amendments or real solution that upholds Americans’ right to privacy.”
CISPA, added Pelosi, provides “overly broad liability protections and immunity to the businesses that violate our liberties,” and fails to strike a “crucial balance between security and liberty.”
But elsewhere during Thursday’s debate, another elected lawmaker cited national security concerns as paramount to these privacy woes. Speaking before his congressional colleagues, Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said this week’s deadly terrorist attack in Boston are reason enough to pass a cybersecurity bill, despite lacing evidence that the pair of bombs detonated Monday at the Boston Marathon were acts of cyberterror.
“Recent events in Boston demonstrate that we have to come together as Republicans and Democrats” in order to pass a bill that will strengthen national security, McCaul (R-Texas) said Thursday morning.
CISPA 101: Originally introduced in late-2011, CISPA passed the House but never advanced to a full Senate vote after massive public campaigns waged against the bill. It's authors say CISPA will "provide for the sharing of certain cyber threat intelligence and cyber threat information between the intelligence community and cybersecurity entities" by encouraging private companies such as Google, Facebook and others to hand over to the government any data that could be used to combat cyberattacks. Critics of the bill say its language is too broad, though, and allows federal agencies to access too much personal information.
“In the case of Boston,” said McCaul, “there were real bombs.”“In this case, they are digital bombs — and these digital bombs are on their way.”
Another lawmaker, Rep. Dan Maffei (D-New York), said CISPA was necessary to protect the US against“independent groups like WikiLeaks,” adding unfounded claims that the whistleblower website is “taking very aggressive measures to hack into” US computer networks.
Other noteworthy statements that came out of this week’s CISPA debate include one quip from Rep. Candice Miller (R-Michigan), who said Wednesday that the bill "helps us fulfill every one of the responsibilities mandated on us by the US Constitution."
“I believe strongly that you should have constitutional concerns about not passing this bill,” said Rep. Miller.
"By supporting CISPA, we move to fulfill our oath” to protect the American people, added Rep. William Enyart (D-Illinois).
As news broke Thursday afternoon that CISPA cleared the House, opponents took to social media to sound out. The EFF responded by saying the House “shamefully” passed, “undermining the privacy of millions of Internet users.”
One popular account associated with the hacktivist group Anonymous wrote:When they passed an Internet-killer bill #CISPA, they used the logic of #Boston bombing. We all know how fear and terrorism works now.When Rep. Ruppersberger reintroduced CISPA at the start of this congressional season, he evoked the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to suggest that Congress can and will do whatever is necessary in the wake of another tragedy.
"We don’t do anything well after a significant emotional event,” said Ruppersberger. Should there be a cyberattack on America on par with 9/11, Congress “will get all the bills passed we want,” he said.
CISPA : BILL INTERNET FREEDOM : HERE
April 11, 2013 14:20CISPA RT TIMELINE
April 09, 2013 14:44A controversial cybersecurity bill is one step closer to being added to the law books following a closed-door meeting between members of Congress on Wednesday.
March 14, 2013 19:48The second-in-command at the US Department of Homeland Security is stepping down as deputy secretary in order to sign-on for a role with the United Nations. But as Jane Holl Lute changes venues, will she change the world’s Internet as well?
March 12, 2013 17:08One of the biggest names on the Internet has rescinded their support of a controversial computer bill. Social media giant Facebook says they are no longer favoring the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA.
February 19, 2013 19:23Before the newest Congress has even heard discussions on a controversial computer bill, over 100,000 people have implored the White House to stop the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act dead in its tracks.
February 13, 2013 18:07US security experts claim a 12-story office building outside of Shanghai is the headquarters of a hacking unit in China established to attack international computer networks. Beijing has rejected the allegations, calling the reports “unreliable”.
February 09, 2013 17:29The two US lawmakers responsible for last year’s failed cybersecurity bill known as CISPA are reintroducing the act, and renewed interest from Washington means it might have a fighting chance this time at being signed into law.
January 25, 2013 17:33
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection act (CISPA) will be reintroduced before the US House next week following a spate of cyber espionage and hacking attacks. Civil liberties advocates have criticized the bill for violating privacy laws.
October 12, 2012 09:22In an attempt to scare the public with a looming cyber attack on US infrastructure, US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is once again pushing Congress to pass legislation allowing the government to have greater control over the Internet.
October 08, 2012 17:17The US faces widespread hacking attacks that could result in a “Cyber-Pearl Harbor,” Leon Panetta said. He invoked the greatest military disaster in US history to make the case for the CISPA bill, roundly criticized for violating privacy laws.
September 12, 2012 17:21It’s only been a few short months since the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act evaporated before it could be put on the books, but the author of CISPA says reemerging threats could let his legislation finally see the light of day.
September 10, 2012 21:56The White House has leaked further details on a planned executive order that lets US President Barack Obama lay out blueprints for a program tasked with protecting America’s computer infrastructure following Congress’ failure to do so themselves.
July 02, 2012 17:52With Congress still unable to iron out a cyber-security bill that both sides of the Legislative Branch can get behind, the White House has drafted an Executive Order that they will roll out if efforts on Capitol Hill remain unproductive.
A number of international organizations such as Amnesty International, Mozilla, Hackers and Founders have signed the Internet Freedom Declaration, a document that calls for, among other things, Internet openness, access and privacy.
The Declaration of Internet Freedom is a 2012 online declaration in defense of online freedoms signed by a number of prominent organisations and individuals.Notable signatories include Amnesty International, danah boyd, the Electronic Frontier Foundation,Reporters Without Borders, and the Mozilla Foundation, among others.
June 22, 2012 19:38The declaration supports the establishment of five basic principles for Internet policy:
- Non-censorship of the internet
- Universal access to fast and affordable networks
- Freedom to connect, communicate, create and innovate over the Internet.
- Protection for new technologies and innovators whose innovations are abused by users.
- Privacy rights and the ability for Internet user to control information about them is used.
The declaration started to be translated through a collaborative effort started by Global Voices Online in August 2012 and at the end of the first week of August, it had been made available into 70 languages, almost half of which provided by Project Lingua volunteer translators.
June 22, 2012 11:51It’s alright, Twitter users. We can all breathe again. The major microblogging site mysteriously went offline mid-day Thursday, and Silicon Valley reps now say that a bug was the culprit behind the crash. Some hackers, however, say otherwise.
June 21, 2012 17:55After reports that the US designed the greatest cyber viruses in history with Flame and Stuxnet, Washington faces a predicament in justifying the duality in its cyber policy and defending its anti-piracy rhetoric.
June 12, 2012 21:35The White House has gone on the record to say that US President Barack Obama will veto the controversial cybersecurity bill known as CISPA, but the author of the act has his doubts that the commander-in-chief will keep that promise.
May 27, 2012 15:26Two leading opponents of SOPA are taking their fight for Internet freedoms to a whole new level. This time a team of bi-partisan lawmakers are offering a Digital Bill of Rights to help ensure that Americans continue to have an open Internet.
May 22, 2012 18:29Inspired by fruitful virtual protests against the SOPA and PIPA online piracy bills, Internet activists have united their forces and formed an organization to protect the web from “bad laws and monopolies.”
May 17, 2012 20:58
A senior US lawmaker with 30 years experience in Congress came out hard against CISPA this week, attacking the legislation’s creators for drafting a bill that erodes Internet privacy for Americans.
May 08, 2012 18:19The House-approved legislation that would erode Internet privacy for Americans might have just bypassed a major hurdle. The White House official who publically condemned CISPA has suddenly stepped down as Obama’s cybersecurity coordinator.
May 07, 2012 18:18Facebook is expected to make billions when the social networking site goes public, but one of the most influential men on the Web says he won’t be buying stock. The founder of Reddit has denounced Facebook over their support of CISPA.
May 04, 2012 19:17Presidential hopeful Ron Paul made a splash with supporters in California on Friday, and the impetus in a rowdy round of applause was something of serious concern with voters this election year: the Internet.
May 02, 2012 16:02Even without passing new legislation regulating what Americans can and can’t do on the Web, recently unsealed court records reveal that federal authorities took down a music website for one year without ever filing charges.
April 30, 2012 21:24Silicon Valley’s Mozilla Corporation has tasked themselves with extinguishing a fire, and no, it’s not what you have in mind.
April 28, 2012 03:12In more than 100 cities from Washington State to the District of Columbia, protesters are orchestrating a massive country-wide demonstration on Tuesday, May 1, and their plans call for what could be the biggest event of its like in recent memory.
April 27, 2012 22:35Anonymous is taking its battle against CISPA to the streets. A video titled “Operation Defense. Phase II” calls on Americans to organize protests at the local offices of companies that supported the controversial bill recently adopted by the House.
April 27, 2012 19:58The House of Representative has passed CISPA, a bill seeking to increase the government's power to monitor private data online. Political commentator Luke Samuel says the law is directed against a nebulously-defined and imaginary threat.
April 26, 2012 22:27Controversial online security bill CISPA is two steps away from becoming a law. Software freedom activist Richard Stallman says Internet users should beware, as the government is a much bigger threat than any individual hacker.
With the House of Representatives' approval of the controversial CISPA bill, Internet users are worried about possible consequences. RT spoke to Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who said CISPA could be used to spy on people.
Aaron Hillel Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013) was an American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist.Swartz was involved in the development of the web feed format RSS, the organizationCreative Commons, the website framework web.py and the social news site Reddit, in which he was an equal partner after its merger with his Infogami company. Swartz also focused on sociology, civic awareness and activism. In 2010, he became a research fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Research Lab on Institutional Corruption, directed by Lawrence Lessig.He founded the online group Demand Progress, known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act.On January 6, 2011, Swartz was arrested by MIT police on state breaking-and-entering charges, in connection with the systematic downloading of academic journal articles from JSTOR. Federal prosecutors eventually charged him with two counts of wire fraud and 11 violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, charges carrying a cumulative maximum penalty of $1 million in fines plus 35 years in prison, asset forfeiture,restitution and supervised release.On January 11, 2013, two years after his initial arrest, Swartz was found dead in his Crown Heights, Brooklyn apartment, where he had hanged himself.
April 26, 2012 12:33
April 25, 2012 21:08The House of Representatives has approved CISPA, a controversial bill that will give the government additional levers to monitor the Internet. But what are its chances of being passed into law, and what will it mean for Internet users?
April 24, 2012 20:18Congress is slated to vote this week on America's most controversial bill in waiting — the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. But now the president’s advisers say they will recommend Obama vetoes CISPA if it makes it to the White House.
April 23, 2012 15:41The White House has officially announced that the Obama administration is opposed to the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, expected to go before Congress this week. But does it really matter?
April 23, 2012 14:27Imagine having government-approved employees embedded at Facebook, complete with federal security clearances, serving as conduits for secret information about their American customers.
April 20, 2012 11:27Just days before the US Congress starts discussing new cybersecurity legislation, those fighting for online freedoms unleashed their own ammunition by way of some new websites that strike to keep the Internet open.
April 19, 2012 19:16Hacktivist group Anonymous has slammed SOPA’s successor-bill CISPA, due to go before the US House of Representatives. They claim it will allow companies unprecedented access to personnel information, severely violating privacy laws.
April 18, 2012 20:40With the House of Representatives set to vote on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) next week, David Seaman, the host of “The DL Show”, tells RT why Google and Facebook won’t help Americans to kill this act.
April 17, 2012 10:17He revolutionized the world by inventing the World Wide Web. Decades later, though, MIT professor Tim Berners-Lee is warning consumers of his creation against Google and Facebook, as well as the government’s attempts to censor the Internet.
April 16, 2012 22:10The readiness of the internet community to self organize for mass protests against censorship and online privacy curtailment has taken US legislators aback, believes Trevor Timm, web freedom activist from the Electronic Frontier foundation.
April 14, 2012 13:50Americans who don’t file their taxes or an extension this week will be left waiting for the IRS to come knocking at their door, but is that the biggest threat the government poses right now? Some watchdog groups warn: not at all.
April 03, 2012 21:18Facebook has defended its support of the controversial cybersecurity bill CISPA. In an address to alleviate fears that the legislation will result in massive sharing of private user data with the government, the social network promised not to do it.
An onrush of condemnation and criticism kept the SOPA and PIPA acts from passing earlier this year, but US lawmakers have already authored another authoritarian bill that could give them free reign to creep the Web in the name of cybersecurity.