With the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) having now passed The House of Representatives on Thursday evening, leaving only one more step to go before it is sent to the President to be signed into law; Anonymous have threatened to up their game by organising physical protests against the bill.
They have proposed that people should demonstrate outside the buildings of the corporations that have actively sent letters of support for CISPA. It should be noted though, that as of Friday evening Microsoft are seemingly starting to change their minds regarding their initial support of the bill, especially regarding privacy concerns. Microsoft sent their letter of support for CISPA on the very same day that the bill was first presented to The House of Representatives
The protests are scheduled to start on May 1st and ending on June 30th 2012.
Original letter of support for CISPA from Microsoft
Current list of companies that have sent letters of support for CISPA
- Business Roundtable
- CTIA – The Wireless Association
- Cyber, Space & Intelligence Association
- Edison Electric
- The Financial Services Roundtable
- Independent Telephone & Telecommunications Alliance
- Information Technology Industry Council
- Internet Security Alliance
- Lockheed Martin
- National Cable & Telecommunications Association
- US Chamber of Commerce
- US Telecom – The Broadband Association
CISPA was first presented to The House of Representatives on November 30th 2011 as an amendment to the National Security Act of 1947 to tackle increasing cyber threats from foreign and domestic sources. The author of the bill, Mike Rogers, who is the Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence cites, China, Russia, Iran and North Korea as hostile threats to US businesses. A speech which was given to the house floor on April 26th 2012, just prior to The House voting in favour of the proposed legislation 248 to 168, can only be read as fear mongering that will only ultimately lead to a Digital Cold War between those nations.
“This is as serious a problem as I [Mike Rogers] have seen. So last year my partner, Dutch Ruppersberger, the vice chairman and ranking member of the intelligence committee, we agreed that this was a significant enough problem to the future prosperity of America that we better do something about it. We needed to stop the Chinese government from stealing our stuff. We needed to stop the Russians from what they are doing to our networks and people’s personal information, data, and resources. We needed to prepare for countries like Iran and North Korea so that they don’t do something catastrophic to our networks here in America and cause us real harm to real people.
The effects of the bill would be very wide-spread allowing large US-based companies to freely share private information of its users freely with the government, without any liability to those companies for violating privacy laws, as CISPA effectively overrules all previous US laws pertaining to the privacy of citizens. The bill is also open to abuse. To see how CISPA would effect you, read this FAQ by CNET.