What’s wrong with #CISPA (in as few words as possible)

(Original source: cispaisback.org)

As it’s written in the version that passed the House, CISPA won’t protect us from cyber threats, but it will violate our 4th Amendment right to privacy.

  • The NSA wants it badly because it will give them more access to your data, and give companies immunity for legally shaky programs like PRISM (read more)
  • It lets the government spy on you without a warrant. (read more)

  • It makes it so you can’t even find out about it after the fact. (read more)

  • It makes it so companies can’t be sued when they do illegal things with your data. (read more)

  • It allows corporations to cyber-attack each other and individuals outside of the law. (read more)

  • It makes every privacy policy on the web a moot point, and violates the 4th amendment. (read more)

UPDATE! IDL launched the ‘Cat Signal’ on March 20th, over 30K sites participated including Reddit, Craigslist, and Duck Duck Go. Press Release.


List of #CISPA Lovers

  • Sony Music
  • Time Warner
  • Verizon
  • Comcast
  • Microsoft
  • Facebook
  • AT&T
  • IBM
  • Apple Inc.
  • United States Chamber of Commerce
  • NSA
  • and of course any subsidiaries of the above mentioned groups.



To contact Verizon:
Bob Varettoni – Verizon’s corporate spokesperson on financial, strategic and governance issues. He also directs media relations support for corporate functions, reporting to Verizon’s chief communications officer.

Phone – 908-559-6388
Email – robert.a.varettoni@verizon.com
Twitter – @bvar


Click here to contact Comcast, or
Phone – 1-800-934-6489
Twitter – @XFINITY


To contact Facebook – Phone 650-308-7300

Click here to contact AT&T, or write to them at:
Corporate Communications
208 S. Akard St.
Dallas, TX 75202.
To send an email through their site – http://www.ibm.com/scripts/contact/contact/us/en
Apple Inc. – https://www.apple.com/about/
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014
Phone – 408-996-1010

United States Chamber of Commerce
Main Number: 202-659-6000
Customer Service: 1-800-638-6582

What YOU can do about #CISPA


“All your data are belong to the U.S.”@OpCISPA

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger re-introduced CISPA to Congress. You can read the 2015 CISPA bill text here –  http://piratetimes.net/wp-uploads/news/2015/01/RUPPER_001_xml-1.pdf

Basically, if CISPA were to pass, government agencies such as: DEA, IRS, FBI, NSA, Federal Student Aid, Interpol, US Army, Veterans Affairs, Amtrak, Job Corps, Border Patrol, Homeland Security, US Postal Service and Immigration could all legally spy on us with nothing more than a suspicious search request such as ‘Marijuana’, ‘torrent’ or ‘illegal’, and the only place your data would be safe is if it were encrypted with OTR or GPG, presuming the NSA hasn’t found away to break those encryption methods yet.

The NSA and members of Congress want to pass CISPA so badly, they’re scapegoating the SONY hacks over the Interview as the reason this law is back. The truth is that CISPA could not have prevented those hacks, and even Representative Ruppersberger couldn’t explain how it could have.

The really maddening thing about CISPA isn’t just that it gives government agencies access to your private, personal data; the Edward Snowden revelations already showed that they have plenty of that to begin with. It’s how easy the bill would make that data collection and delivery. No subpoenas, no warnings, no protests, nothing.

We all know, this bill WON’T prevent hacking but WILL allow deeper surveillance of innocent people worldwide.

We’ve stopped them before, we can do it again!

So what can YOU do about CISPA?

Get mad about CISPA!

Get mad and call your congressman. Because this threat to civil liberties could either be (a) a privacy nightmare that doesn’t protect anybody at all or (b) a great excuse to figure out a plan that does protect us against a cyber attack. That’s actually a good idea.

You can call your representative if you live in the US.

Click here to find your Senator’s phone number – http://cms.fightforthefuture.org/cispa/ There’s also a handy script available there for your use, courtesy of Fight For The Future.


Sign the petition!


Media links for more info about #CISPA

CISPA Media Links

Washington Post
“Digital rights activists vow to fight CISPA”

BBC News
“Net ‘bat signal’ activated for privacy protests”

New York Times
“The President revives an old debate about privacy”

“Reddit co-founder urges tech leaders to fight CISPA”

NBC News
“Facebook, Google, and Twitter called to Stop CISPA”

ABC News
“Controversial CISPA cybersecurity bill passes House. Again.”

Al Jazeera
“CISPA resurrected, privacy concerns continue”

Rolling Stone
“Congress is trying to kill internet privacy again”

Wall Street Journal
“CISPA’s immunity for data handover’s stirs controversy”

“Internet Activists Deliver 300,000 Anti-CISPA Signatures to Congress”

Huffington Post 
“Web Giants Fight CISPA, Push Back Against Resurrection of Cybersecurity Bill” 

The Hill
“Privacy groups prepare to hit back on cybersecurity bill” 

“Reddit, Craigslist, and 30,000 other sites protest CISPA”

“CISPA already seeing big privacy pushback” 

A little #CISPA Q+A


SOURCE: Daily Dot – http://www.dailydot.com/politics/what-is-cispa-2015/

How serious are these cyberattacks, really?

That’s a major point of debate. Those in Washington who push for stronger cybersecurity have for years referred to an imminent “Digital Pearl Harbor” or “Cyber 9/11,” where attackers will derail our critical infrastructure (think power plants, or air traffic controls) without stronger laws. And, to be fair, the U.S. itself appears to have already carried out such an attack when it released the Stuxnet virus on Iran, seriously hampering that country’s nuclear research program.

On the other hand, some researchers have found that statistics on the frequency of cyberattacks against the U.S. tend to be misrepresented by the government and are vastly overblown.

Both Obama and Ruppersberger have invoked recent high-profile attacks, like the one on Sony Pictures Entertainment, as evidence that we need information-sharing legislation. But experts say that’s nonsense, and wouldn’t have helped Sony in the slightest.

So under CISPA, the government could claim there was a cybersecurity breach and spy on any website it wants?

It’s not that easy. As CISPA’s supporters repeatedly stress, information-sharing is voluntary. Any network would need to give permission for a federal agent to have access. Note, though, that means the network’s permission. Not yours.

Why would a network want to volunteer?

Pretty simple: It means the government helps out with its cybersecurity efforts, which can be a real burden. Facebook, for example, infamously initially supported CISPA.

If I admitted in an email that I stole a candy bar, and the Department of Justice sees it, am I going to jail?

No, it has to be big. There are a few extremely specific criteria that have to be met for the government to actually prosecute civilians based on information acquired through CISPA—stuff like child porn or intent to commit terrorism.

If I’m not a terrorist pedophile, do I have anything to hide?

Plenty argue that CISPA directly violates any modern interpretation of the Fourth Amendment, which prevents “unreasonable searches and seizures” without a warrant. And to put it mildly, privacy advocates heavily contest the “what if I have nothing to hide?” argument. In short, you probably do have something to hide even if don’t realize it.

How is CISPA different from Obama’s proposal?

Obama’s proposal has several tenants, but both it and CISPA really stress information sharing. On one hand, privacy groups generally regard Obama’s version as similar, but with somewhat better user-privacy protections built in.

On the other hand, some groups, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, question why we’d need an information-sharing law at all. There are already little-used government information-sharing programs in place, and a large number of high-profile hacks would be prevented if the victim used just basic security measures.

Will CISPA pass the House?

It’s still early. CISPA passed the House in both 2012 and 2013, but was led by the one-two punch of the two ranking members of the House Intelligence Committee, Ruppersberger and former Michigan Republican Mike Rogers, who has since retired.

Ruppersberger’s office has so far declined to share if they’re getting enough promises to give the bill a chance. And It’s hard to imagine Obama signing a bill in 2015 that he openly disparaged and repeatedly promised to veto.

However, given his own proposal’s insistence on information-sharing, it’s definitely possible Obama would agree to a compromise. In previous years, he’d hoped that the Democrat-held Senate could find a cybersecurity bill more to his liking, but they couldn’t ever get anything to pass, much less something that the Republican House would. Now that Republicans control the Senate, too, Obama’s hands are more tied.

Quotes about #CISPA

CISPA Quotes

“Although we appreciate the Intelligence Committee’s efforts to improve the bill and willingness to engage in a dialogue with privacy advocates, the changes in its most current draft do not come close to addressing the civil liberties threats posed by the bill, and some of the proposals would actually make CISPA worse. Therefore, Congress should not pass CISPA” – Sharan Bradford Franklin, of the Constitution Project

“To date, the authors of the bill have been unresponsive to these criticisms, offering amendments that are largely cosmetic. Dismissing the grave concerns about how this bill could undermine the core privacy rights of everyday Internet users, Rep. Mike Rogers characterized the growing protests against CISPA as ‘turbulence’ and vowed to push for a floor vote without radical changes.” – Rainey Reitman, of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

“The authors of CISPA have made some positive changes recently. Unfortunately, none of the changes gets to the heart of the privacy concerns that Internet users and advocacy groups have expressed.” – Kendall Burman of the Center for Democracy and Technology

“essentially means CISPA would override the relevant provisions in all other laws—including privacy laws.” –  Electronic Frontier Foundation

“we must do everything within our power to safeguard the privacy rights of individual Internet users and ensure that Congress does not sacrifice those rights in a rush to pass vaguely-worded cybersecurity bills.” – Electronic Frontier Foundation

“using the Sony Hack as a hook is a cynical political ploy for a losing idea that is designed to harm the public and take away their privacy.” – TechDirt’s Mike Masnick

“CISPA 2015 would provide for an even cozier relationship between Silicon Valley and the US government at the detriment of civil liberties and privacy for everyone else” –  writer Rachael Tacket

“More needs to be done to protect cyberspace and enhance computer security. But President Obama’s cybersecurity legislative proposal recycles old ideas that should remain where they’ve been since May 2011: on the shelf ” – Electronic Frontier Foundation

“We must do everything within our power to safeguard the privacy rights of individual Internet users and ensure that Congress does not sacrifice those rights in a rush to pass vaguely worded cyber security bills,”  – Lee Tien, staff atty EFF

“I do worry about its chilling effects if enacted into law. Unless there is a carve out for research, the liability for clicking on links to security tools alone is worrying…even more so if RICO style laws are applied due to their broad nature and potential for abuse by aggressive prosecutors. We have had many decades to get used to prosecuting organized crime, but prosecuting technical computer crime is newer and harder to explain to juries. In that regard clear and easy to understand ‘red lines’ while more simplistic might be a better place to start” – Jeff Moss, the founder of Black Hat and DEFCON conferences

“the expansion of the definition may impact researchers who commonly scan public websites to detect potential vulnerabilities. These researchers should not have to face a felony charge if a prosecutor thinks they should have known the site prohibited scanning” – Mark Jaycox, of the EFF

“I fear we may have taken the wrong lesson from these recent high-profile attacks. These attacks were not the result of a missed opportunity to share information, but rather caused by substantial and obvious security failures and a culture of treating cyber security as an afterthought” – CA Democratic representative, Zoe Lofgren

“CISPA (1) fails to comprehend the ways in which existing laws allow sharing, but with accountability; (2) runs roughshod over federal and state laws protecting privacy; (3) could inadvertently immunize retaliatory hack-back security techniques; and (4) creates an “inner circle” of private entities willing to share and share alike with the government, but leaves disfavored service providers in the cybersecurity dark” –  Jennifer Granick

“The bill amends the National Security Act of 1947 to grant access to any data regarding a so-called cyber-threat to not just the government but also private security agencies” – Jackie Cohen

#CISPA – Who hates it, Who loves it?


CISPA has been criticised by advocates of Internet privacy and civil liberties, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, Free Press, Fight for the Future, and Avaaz.org, as well as various conservative and libertarian groups including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, TechFreedom, FreedomWorks, Americans for Limited Government, Liberty Coalition, and the American Conservative Union.

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

So who wants CISPA?

CISPA had garnered favor from corporations and lobbying groups such as Microsoft, Facebook, AT&T, IBM, Apple Inc. 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.

Old news:
Anonymous targets CISPA Supporters: Facebook, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, U.S. Telecom, TechAmerica


What is #CISPA?


What is CISPA?
An acronym for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.

In January 2015 the House reintroduced CISPA again. This is actually CISPA’s third time being proposed by Congress. The proposed Act dates back to 2011, when it was introduced; the bill passed the House of Representatives in 2012 but not the Senate. CISPA was proposed again in 2013; it again passed the House but then died before it could be voted on in the Senate.

CISPA 2015 has now been referred to the House Committees on the Judiciary, Armed Services, Homeland Security, and Intelligence to see if it will come to the House for a vote.

CISPA is a bill designed to help companies (like Sony) fight cybercrime and hackers.

To do this, the bill allows the federal government to pass specific, classified information about would-be hackers and other attacks directly to companies. That, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing.The very bad thing here is that the bill also “allows” companies to pass information that it gleans about “cyber threats” to the federal government, meaning information about its users.

A “cyber threat” is classified extremely broadly, meaning that someone who sends a spam email (even if they were hacked or phished themselves) could have their information sent not only to the federal government, but to state and local law enforcement, as well.

Finally, there is company liability protection built into the bill, meaning that if, say, Facebook were to wrongly send your information to the government, the company cannot be held liable.

“CISPA would encourage the open sharing of personal data with nearly no privacy protections—a profound abuse of users’ rights,”Drew Mitnick (a lawyer with Access, a civil liberties organization).

CISPA stands for The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, a network and Internet security bill written by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD).

House Democrat, Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, has decided to re-introduce CISPA after the Sony hacks, which the US government blames on North Korea.

The bill purports to allow companies and the federal government to share information to prevent or defend against network and other Internet attacks. However, the bill grants broad new powers, allowing companies to identify and obtain “threat information” by looking at your private information. It is written so broadly that it allows companies to hand over large swaths of personal information to the government with no judicial oversight—effectively creating a “cybersecurity” loophole in all existing privacy laws.

A sneak peek at #CISPA 2015


Under CISPA 2015 (HR 234), the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Secretary of Defense would create the cyber threat information sharing program and also provide oversight for the program’s civil liberties protections. This is akin to allowing the foxes to guard the hen house.

CISPA 2015 also mandates privacy and civil liberties reports, but allows government agencies to classify the annexes to the reports. In other words, CISPA 2015 does not intend to have any real oversight for civil liberties and privacy. Cyber threat information shared with the government would also be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and would be a serious blow to transparency in government.

Perhaps the worst thing about the CISPA 2015 bill is that it would give immunity from criminal prosecution and lawsuits to anyone sharing cyber threat information with the government. CISPA 2015 would provide for an even cozier relationship between Silicon Valley and the US government at the detriment of civil liberties and privacy for everyone else.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is the bill in the US Congress that just refuses to die. Like a zombie, it keeps rising from the dead to harass cyber activists and civil liberties advocates. In a slight reprieve, Representative Mike Rogers, CISPA’s previous co-sponsor, has announced that he will not run for re-election. Never one to waste an opportunity for a crisis, a House Democrat, Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, has decided to re-introduce CISPA after the Sony hacks, which the US government blames on North Korea.

Original source: http://piratetimes.net/exclusive-a-sneak-peek-at-cispa-2015/