The US House of Representatives voted to pass CISPA- Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act today amidst uproar in the cyber world.
Today, the United States House of representatives voted in to pass the controversial CISPA bill that most people argue will be the end of privacy. The bill is meant to give the federal government and businesses protection in law so that they can be able to share threats in the cyber world in an effort to forestall attacks online. The bill is supported by over 100 members of the House of Representatives and is set to be discussed by the end of the week. CISPA will be the first bill that faces a vote in Congress after the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) was voted in January.
However, a good percentage of the public and even the Obama administration feel that the bill is not clear enough on what the government can and cannot monitor online. In fact, a large percentage of members of the public feel that the bill in its mandate will be crossing boundaries since private information may also be monitored.
The Obama administration has tried unsuccessfully to lobby members of the House of Representatives to look in to the bill again, and also define parameters, to no avail. This is since members of the Obama administration feel that the parameters and language that define the bill are too vague. Therefore, chances of the Act being abused are high due to a lack of a clear language, and scope.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation also supports this argument, by saying that the bill is not clear. In fact, the internet privacy and neutrality advocate argues that the bill may be misused and used to find and punish people who infringe on copyrights and those who share files.
The bill is so unpopular that a petition to stop the bill has already collected over a million signatures. However, since the petition has had little success so far, the anonymous hacktivist group has planned a massive demo.
Therefore, CISPA together with companies that supports it, as well as members of the public are planning a protest that will start at the beginning if this month, and it will continue till the end of June. Anonymous and its supporters plan to target various companies including Chase Bank, IBM, Pepsi, Verizon Wireless, WalMart, Visa, CVS, Intel, AT&T, and Microsoft. The protest is dubbed Operation Defense: Phase 2 and the group are hoping to tap in to the public’s hatred of privacy invasion.
In the past, the anonymous hacktivist group would have simply tried to hack in to various websites so that they could pass their message. But it seems that in operation defense phase 2; the group has decided to be more tactful in hopes of achieving its objectives.