As Congress weighs cyber law, Internet protests resume

Internet advocacy groups oppose the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, despite the fact that is has the support of some heavy industry hitters.

A new round of Internet protests is under way in opposition to cybersecurity legislation before Congress that would open communications lines between the public and private sectors on security.

The protests against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) aren’t at the level of the Jan. 18 Internet blackouts that toppled the Stop Online Piracy Act, but the core dispute is the same: opponents say the bill threatens freedom of expression and privacy, while supporters say it is necessary to national cybersecurity and to protecting intellectual property.


Related coverage:

Cybersecurity bill slammed by privacy advocates


The House Intelligence Committee approved the bill, co-sponsored by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-Md.) and supported by Facebook, Microsoft and some other leading technology companies, in December, but the legislation could undergo some changes before reaching the full House.

A coalition including the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Reporters Without Borders has launched a Twitter protest, encouraging followers to use the #CongressTMI and #CISPA hashtags in tweets to lawmakers, and is organizing a letter-writing campaign.

“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,” Reporters Without Borders said in announcing the protest. “A blanket monitoring system is never an appropriate solution. Reporters Without Borders opposes CISPA and asks Congress to reject this legislation.”

The protest, dubbed “Stop Cyber Spying Week,” so far is considerably lower profile than the protest in January against SOPA, then in the House, the Protect IP Act in the Senate, when thousands of websites and blogs went dark and Congress abandoned the bills. In February, protests in Europe also derailed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, an international anti-piracy treaty that had been in the works since 2006.

The biggest objections to SOPA and PIPA were over provisions that would require Internet service providers and search engines to block traffic to overseas sites selling counterfeit goods, or redirect traffic away from them. That censorship of traffic drew opposition from open-Internet advocacy groups, as well as security groups pushing to secure the Domain Name System with DNS Security Extensions, which are designed to prevent the redirecting of traffic.

CISPA doesn’t include provisions to block or redirect traffic, however, which is one reason Facebook, which opposed SOPA and PIPA, has given for its support. In a recent blog post, Joel Kaplan, the company’s vice president for U.S. Public Policy, also touted the bill’s security and privacy provisions.

The bills “would make it easier for Facebook and other companies to receive critical threat data from the U.S. government…and ensures that if we do share data about specific cyber threats, we are able to continue to safeguard our users’ private information.”

Opponents, however, say the bill is too broadly written and would put the Defense Department’s National Security Agency in charge of cybersecurity.

CISPA “uses dangerously vague language to define the breadth of data that can be shared with the government,” Reporters Without Borders’ statement said, adding that it “allows data shared with the government to be used for purposes unrelated to cybersecurity.”

The issue of whether NSA or the civilian Homeland Security Department should be charge of protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure has been a bone of contention in Congress.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) has introduced the comprehensive Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 2105), which would give DHS the lead role in overseeing minimum security requirements for privately owned critical infrastructure. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), however, has criticized DHS’ performance and introduced a competing bill, the Secure IT Act (S. 2151), which includes no role for DHS and no requirements for protecting private infrastructure.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.