Protest targets US cyber intelligence legislation

Apr 16, 2012

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 (EFF) and were among organizations that signaled the start of a week of Internet protests against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

"A blanket 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 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, , and anyone else handling 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."

The Twitter portion of the online campaign included creating #CongressTMI (an acronym for Too Much Information) and #CISPA "hashtags" to be added to messages to make it easier to find "tweets" about the topic.

Organizations plan to augment the online campaign with old-fashioned ink-and-paper letters sent to legislators by post and articles detailing reasoning behind opposing the bill.

"We need cybersecurity legislation, not surveillance legislation," said Center for Democracy and Technology president Leslie Harris.

Groups involved in the protest include Constitution Project; Fight for the Future, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

"Some people believe that we have to sacrifice in order to shore up cybersecurity, but that's misunderstanding both issues," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien.

"Giving companies carte blanche to bypass federal law does not make us safer -- it puts us at more risk."

Explore further: WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US bill seeks to improve cyber information-sharing

Nov 30, 2011

A bill intended to increase sharing of information about cybersecurity threats between government and the private sector was introduced in the US House of Representatives on Wednesday.

US privacy groups welcome 'Do Not Track' bill

May 09, 2011

Privacy and consumer groups welcomed a "Do Not Track" bill introduced in the US Senate on Monday that would let Internet users block companies from gathering information about their online activities. ...

US lawmaker unveils Internet, finance privacy bills

Feb 12, 2011

Cheered on by civil liberties advocates and consumer groups, a US lawmaker introduced legislation Friday to help safeguard Internet users' privacy and rein in dissemination of personal financial data.

Egypt move revives US 'kill switch' debate

Feb 06, 2011

Egypt's five-day shutdown of the Internet has revived debate in the United States over how much authority the president should have over the Web in the event of a crisis.

Recommended for you

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

12 hours ago

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

Study: Social media users shy away from opinions

Aug 26, 2014

People on Facebook and Twitter say they are less likely to share their opinions on hot-button issues, even when they are offline, according to a surprising new survey by the Pew Research Center.

US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

Aug 23, 2014

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target.

Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

Aug 22, 2014

The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Should you be worried about paid editors on Wikipedia?

Aug 22, 2014

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people ...

User comments : 0