Come Together To Stop CISPA!

WHAT IS CISPA?

 

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (H.R. 3523) is a bill introduced in the United States House of Representatives by Reps. Mike Rogers (D-MI) and C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-MD) in late 2011. It amends the National Security Act of 1947 to allow private companies and US government intelligence agencies to share information regarding perceived cyber threats.

 

WHAT IS WRONG WITH CISPA?

 

1. CISPA’s language, particularly in reference to how it defines “cyber threat,” is far too broad. 

The bill’s definition of a “cyber threat” is so vague that it may potentially allow CISPA to encompass a far broader range of targets and data than initially contemplated by its authors. “Cyber threat” is a critical term in the bill, and is defined therein as:

…information directly pertaining to a vulnerability of, or threat to a system of network of a government or private entity, including information pertaining to the protection of a system or network from —

(A) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or

(B) theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information.

Under this overly broad, vague definition, whistleblowers and leakers such as Wikileaks, tech blogs carrying the latest rumours and gossip from companies, news and media sites publishing investigations, security researchers and whitehat pen testers, torrent sites (including our beloved Pirate Bay), and of course, yours truly, Anonymous, would all be ripe targets.

Additionally, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) notes, CISPA’s broad definition of “cybersecurity” is so vague that it leaves open the door “to censor any speech that a company believes would ‘degrade the network.’” Going one step further, the bill’s inclusion of “intellectual property” provides for the strong possibility that both private companies and the federal government will likely be granted “new powers to monitor and censor communications for copyright infringement.” (Full EFF letter here)

 

 

2. CISPA demonstrates a complete disregard for reasonable expectations of privacy protection and essential liberties by providing for unaccountable sharing of user data.

As laid out, CISPA allows a large, nearly unchecked quantity of any and all information on a target to be obtained and shared between private companies and government agencies. The bill’s text states, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a self-protected entity may, for cybersecurity purposes…share such cyber threat information with any other entity, including the Federal Government.”

Why is this problematic? As it stands, CISPA’s text allows for a slippery slope of information and data that could be shared amongst private companies and the federal government without any regard for a target’s personal privacy protections. Such information could very well include account names and passwords, histories, message content, and other information not currently available to agencies under federal wiretap laws.

In a position letter addressed to Congress on 17 April 2012, CISPA critics point out:

CISPA  creates  an  exception  to  all  privacy  laws  to  permit  companies  to  share  our   information  with  each  other  and  with  the  government  in  the  name  of  cybersecurity.   Although  a  carefully-­‐crafted  information  sharing  program  that  strictly  limits  the   information  to  be  shared  and  includes  robust  privacy  safeguards  could  be  an   effective  approach  to  cybersecurity,  CISPA  lacks  such  protections  for  individual   rights.    CISPA’s  ‘information  sharing’  regime  allows  the  transfer  of  vast  amounts  of   data,  including  sensitive  information  like  internet  use  history  or  the  content  of   emails,  to  any  agency  in  the  government  including  military  and  intelligence  agencies   like  the  National  Security  Agency  or  the  Department  of  Defense  Cyber  Command. 

 

 

3. The broad language in CISPA provides for the uncertain future expansion of federal government powers and a slippery slope of cybersecurity warrantless wiretapping. 

Of particular concern is the word “notwithstanding,” which is a dangerously broad word when included in legislation. The use of “notwithstanding” will allow CISPA to apply far beyond the stated intentions of its authors. It is clear that the word was purposefully included (and kept throughout rewrites) by the bill’s authors to allow CISPA to supersede and trump all existing federal and state civil and criminal laws, including laws that safeguard privacy and personal rights.

The fact that the sponsors and authors of CISPA claim that they have no intentions to use the overly broad language of the bill to obtain unprecedented amounts of information on citizens should be of little comfort to a concerned onlooker. As it stands, if CISPA passes in Congress and is signed into law by the President, its broad language WILL be law of the land and WILL be available for use by agencies and companies as desired. Why should our only protection against rampant cyber-spying be us trusting the government or companies NOT to take CISPA over the line of acceptable (if any) data collection?

 

 

WOW, CISPA SUCKS! HOW CAN I HELP STOP IT?

Below are some various ways that YOU can get involved in the online and real world struggles against CISPA. It will take all of us to stop this bill, but we did it before with SOPA, PIPA, and [hopefully] ACTA, and we’re confident that it can be done once more with CISPA. The voice of the People WILL be heard loud and clear, and you can help because your voice matters. It’s time to stand up for your rights because, in the end, who else will? Internet, unite!

 

  • Educate a Congressman about the Internet and pitfalls of CISPA - here
  • Call a Congressman directly about the bill - here
  • Email a Congressman directly about the bill - here
  • Sign and pass around online petitions - here || here || here
  • Spread awareness. Tweet, blog and post about CISPA. Use the hashtags #StopCISPA and #CISPA so everyone can follow. Change your profile picture to an anti-CISPA image or add a STOP CISPA banner.
  • Tweet to CISPA’s proponents, @HouseIntelComm and @RepMikeRogers and let them know about the pitfalls of CISPA.
  • Let CISPA’s sponsor, Rep. MikeRogers, know how much his bill fails - here
  • Check out Fight For The Future’s #CongressTMI movement in regard to CISPA - here
  • Join the Twitter Campaign and Contact a Representative about CISPA - here
  • Protest. Organise in front of Congress and let them know what happens when they try to govern the Internet and strip our liberties in the name of national security. If you organise an IRL protest, please contact us @YourAnonNews so we can facilitate spreading the word on it and helping boost attendance.

 

 

I WANT TO LEARN EVEN MORE ABOUT CISPA! TELL ME MORE!

Ok…clearly you like reading and knowing the issues thoroughly. We’re proud of your dedication and passion to better educating yourself and others about this concerning bill. Below are additional helpful resources that you can check out to get an even better understanding of CISPA and how it will affect the world of tomorrow should it pass and become law.

 

  • Full text of CISPA, including recent rewrites and Amendments - here
  • Full list of CISPA co-sponsors - here
  • Full list of companies and groups that explicitly support CISPA - here
  • INFOGRAPHIC on CISPA - here
  • Center for Democracy & Technology’s CISPA Resource Page - here
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Statement on CISPA and its Intellectual Property Implications
  • Video news report from RT, ‘CISPA is a US cyber-security loophole’ - watch
  • CNET In-Depth: Even an attempted rewrite of CISPA failed to safeguard civil liberties and privacy -read
  • CISPA is pushed by a for-profit cyber-spying lobby that stands to profit immensely from the bill becoming law in the US - read
  • Why CISPA Sucks - read
  • A brilliant series of TechDirt articles on CISPA shed some light on the bill and point out exactly where its flaws are found — CISPA is a Really Bad Bill, and Here’s Why - read
    - Did Congress Really Not Pay Attention to What Happened with SOPA? CISPA Ignorance is Astounding - read
    - Forget SOPA, You Should Be Worried About This Cybersecurity Bill - read

 

NOTE: Even Obama seems to dislike CISPA — On 17 April 2012, the White House issued a statement criticising CISPA for lacking strong privacy protections and failing to set forth basic security standards.

 

- Written By: YourAnonNews

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About the Author

  • Rwolf

    CISPA Legislation Is Disguised—Fascism

    CISPA the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act if signed into law will allow——the military and NSA warrant-less spying on Americans’ confidential electronic Communications; any transmitted private information circumventing the fourth amendment. CISPA will allow any self-protected cyber entity to share with the Feds any person’s private information that might allegedly relate to a cyber threat or crime. Considering the U.S. Government’s current business relationship with telephone and Internet companies, it should be expected the feds would use CISPA to gain unprecedented access to lawful Americans’ private electronic communications. Almost every week news media reports corrupt police arrested for selling drugs, taking bribes and perjury. It is foreseeable that broad provisions in CISPA that call for private businesses / cyber entities to share with Spy Agencies confidential information will open the door for corrupt government and police to sell a corporations’ confidential information to its competitors, foreign government and others. CISPA provides insufficient safeguards to control disposition of (shared) confidential corporate / cyber entity information, including confidential information shared by spy agencies with private entities derived from spying on Americans.
    The recently House Passed Cyber Security Bill overrides the Fourth Amendment. Government may use against Americans in Criminal, Civil and Administrative courts (any information) derived from CISPA warrant-less spying. CISPA will open the door for U.S. Government spy agencies such as NSA; the FBI; government asset forfeiture contractors, any private entity (to take out of context) any innocent—hastily written email, fax or phone call to allege a crime or violation was committed to cause a person’s arrest, assess fines and or civilly forfeit a business or property. There are more than 350 laws and violations that can subject property to government asset forfeiture. Government civil asset forfeiture requires only a civil preponderance of evidence for police to forfeit property, little more than hearsay.

    CISPA (warrant-less electronic surveillance) will enable the U.S. Justice Department to bypass the Fourth Amendment, use information extracted from CISPA electronic surveillance) of Americans’ Web Server Records, Internet Activity, transmitted emails, faxes, and phone calls to issue subpoenas in hopes of finding evidence or to prosecute Citizens for any alleged crime or violation. If the current CISPA is signed into law it is problematic federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and private government contractors will want access to prior Bush II NSA and other government illegally obtained electronic records to secure evidence to arrest Americans; civilly forfeit their homes, businesses and other assets under Title 18USC and other laws. Of obvious concern, what happens to fair justice in America if police become dependent on “Asset Forfeiture” to help pay their salaries and budget operating costs?

    Note: the passed “Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000” (effectively eliminated) the “five year statue of limitations” for Government Civil Asset Forfeiture of property: the statute now runs five years (from the date) police allege they “learned” an asset became subject to forfeiture. If CISPA takes affect, allows (no warrant) electronic government surveillance of Americans, it is expected CISPA will be used by government not only to thwart cyber threats, but to aggressively prosecute Americans and businesses for any alleged crime: U.S. Government spy and police agencies; quasi government contractors for profit, will relentlessly sift through Citizen and businesses’ (government retained Internet data), emails and phone communications) to discover possible crimes or civil violations. A corrupt U.S. Government Administration too easily use CISPA no-warrant-seized emails, faxes, Internet data and phone call information) to target, blackmail and extort its political opposition; selectively target any Citizen, corporation and others in the manner Hitler used his Nazi passed legislation that permitted no-warrant Nazi police searches and seizure of Citizens and businesses or to extort support for the Nazi fascist government. Hitler Nazi Laws made it possible for the Nazi’s to strong-armed German parliament to pass Hitler’s 1933 Discriminatory Decrees that suspended the Constitutional Freedoms of German Citizens. History shows how that turned out.

    CISPA warrant-less electronic surveillance) has the potential of turning America into a similar Fascist Police State.