CISPA May Be Delayed Until Election By The Internet Defense League
The Internet Defense League is planning to post-pone CISPA – a piece of legislation that’s considered by its opponents to be the largest threat until now to the Internet, in the light of the general elections to come.
The Internet Defense League is a group protecting internet users from pieces of legislation that are considered to be a threat to the internet itself. CISPA is one of those and has caught attention of the organization.
PrivacyIsAwesome.com says the following about the bill:
- Reverses privacy laws. Specifically, we are opposed to the “Information Sharing” provisions in the bills, which through a giant “notwithstanding” clause would nullify decades of consumer privacy laws and establish legal immunity for companies to share personal information of virtually all internet users with the federal government.
- Wholesale data sharing. Legal immunity can be used to pressure companies into a program of wholesale user-data sharing with the government. If they were willing to do it when it was illegal (i.e. Bush Admin. warrantless wiretapping program), they’ll certainly do it with preemptive legal immunity.
- Removes protections for non-suspects. The bills claims to establish “affirmative authority to monitor and defend against cybersecurity threats.” However, sharing cybersecurity threat information is already perfectly legal, provided that the parties involved follow basic, well-established legal guidelines for protecting the privacy of non-suspects. The bills remove those protections when there is a “reasonable belief” that information is indicative of a broadly-defined cybersecurity threat. That language is far too expansive for such a drastic civil liberties loophole.
- No limits on inter-agency sharing. Under S.2105, personal information would be shared with the Department of Homeland Security, but the bill does not prevent DHS from sharing the information with other government and military agencies, like the National Security Agency. There are no limitations as to what purposes the information can be used for.
- Violates net neutrality. Sec. 701 of S.2105 violates net neutrality principles by giving ISPs new authority to block traffic in order to protect against actions that might result in a breach of any information system.
ZDnet commented promptly in a post:
Insiders expected the Senate to vote on the much-contested cyberspying bill CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (PDF)) when it convened from Memorial Day recess.
But now the week is over – and still no CISPA vote.
On Tuesday The Hill reported that the bill had indeed stalled and that its supporters (desperate to pass cybersecurity legislation) were vocally upset that its time was fast running out.
The Internet Defense League has just sent the below statement to its supporters and CISPA opponents with intent to raise a call to action in light of CISPA’s new and ongoing delays:
CISPA’s supporters are in a race against time: in just 7 weeks Congress will shut down, election season kicks in, and the clock runs out for CISPA. Even better, the fact that Congress postponed the vote means they probably don’t have enough “yes” votes yet.
Remember: these bills would end online privacy, treating everyone like criminals instead of making us more secure.
We set out to make eliminating online privacy a messy proposition for the Senate. And it’s working.
If we can keep the calls, emails, meetings, and creative campaigns coming, we can tip the scales.
The chances for CISPA to be postponed until the elections pass are not that big, but we should adopt a rather positive view given the fact that other bills were shelved when the election season kicked-started.