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‘Anonymous’ calls for web blackout after CISPA cybersecurity bill passes House

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With the passage of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) in the House on Thursday, cyber protests and a White House threat to veto overshadow its next stop in the Senate. Most notably, the hacktivist group Anonymous is calling for a mass blackout of websites on Monday to protest the pending legislation.

Anonymous CISPA twitter
Photo credit: RT News

CISPA was written to allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and private companies, in order to help the government investigate cyber threats and guard against cyberattacks.

Critics, including the president, say it doesn’t do enough to prevent the sharing of private information without a warrant. The White House issued a statement last week outlining their concerns.

Both government and private companies need cyber threat information to allow them to identify, prevent, and respond to malicious activity that can disrupt networks and could potentially damage critical infrastructure. The Administration believes that carefully updating laws to facilitate cybersecurity information sharing is one of several legislative changes essential to protect individuals’ privacy and improve the Nation’s cybersecurity…

The Administration recognizes and appreciates that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) adopted several amendments to H.R. 624 in an effort to incorporate the Administration’s important substantive concerns. However, the Administration still seeks additional improvements and if the bill, as currently crafted, were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill…

Specifically, even if there is no clear intent to do harm, the law should not immunize a failure to take reasonable measures, such as the sharing of information, to prevent harm when and if the entity knows that such inaction will cause damage or otherwise injure or endanger other entities or individuals…

President Obama issued an executive order on cybersecurity in February, which focuses on government agencies sharing information about cybersecurity threats with the private sector. While it is more popular with privacy advocates, it does little to compel private companies to participate. At the time, Obama urged Congress to pass new cybersecurity legislation.

Several large technology companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft support CISPA despite its controversy. But a growing group of smaller voices are opposed to the bill. Reddit, Mozilla, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others led a March protest that placed banners on 30,000 websites, according to Forbes.

So far, at least 347 websites have joined the protest on Monday blacking out their internet pages, and are listed on Hackers News Bulletin.

H/T: RT News

 

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