Update 27th April: The US House of Representatives has now passed a cyber-security bill amid a veto threat from President Barack Obama. Anonymous is informing businesses that it opposes CISPA and has posted a video of a downed web site – US Telecom, as part of its ongoing anti-CISPA campaign. It has also recently downed the Boeing website. Both these companies have publicly supported CISPA. April 11th, 2012
CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) promises to raise lots of eyebrows given it is being co-sponsored by over 100 companies. Some of these companies include Facebook and Microsoft. This act allows private businesses and the US government to share information about cyber threats to government or private businesses, such as intellectual properties.
The idea behind CISPA is that information sharing occurs on a two-way basis – but two-way between business and government and centrally managed by the Director of National Intelligence. Will the public trust this appointment? Probably not. Obviously, because the government is involved, CISPA will require that any recipient of threat reports will have to have security clearance and a valid reason for having the information. How many companies will have or be able to obtain security clearance? I doubt that many.
One of the most interesting aspects of this act is that private businesses who share their cyber security information with the US federal government, will not have to disclose this to the public. This means that if a business has its database hacked, they can tell the US government about it but not the employees, shareholders or the general public.
In the space of two weeks we’ve had the UK government announce a new law on Internet surveillance and now CISPA in the US. Both laws will definitely allow ISPs, businesses and intelligence agencies to monitor and or intercept your Internet traffic. There is also the small issue of using CISPA as a tool in the fight against copyright infringement – anyone remember SOPA? Expect Anonymous to raise the bar with yet more website hacks and database breaches with those companies that openly support CISPA.
Safe surfing folks!