Tuesday, April 17, 2012

CISPA broadly criticized, but it's less than a "SOPA 2"

Electronic Frontier Foundation has a white paper today outlining the basics about CISPA (HR 3523, “The Cybersecurity Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act”0, link here
CISPA allows private companies to turn over almost any “suspicious” email or other activity to government.  For example, an ordinary user’s using TOR might be deemed “suspicious”. 

Also the federal government could use this information for other law enforcement purposes, although House authors apparently removed language that seemed to allow going after copyright infringers (making it a “SOPA 2”).   Unlike the case with SOPA, however, many Silicon Valley companies support CISPA because they believe it will make their networks safer.

The Cato Institute has a short paper by Jim Harper, “Cybersecurity: Talking Points v. Substance”, link here

 A couple of other correlated points come to mind. The government has recently upped the talk about the dangers of major cyberattacks against infrastructure, like power grids, although one wonders why such infrastructure should be so easily accessed through the public Internet (see my Internet Safety blog Monday).

The other point concerns publishers (like me) rather than service providers.  That is to say, people in my position do sometimes learn about serious anomalies that could fall into the “see something, say something” category.   Despite all the talk of blogger immunity (whether it should follow mainstream jounralists’, which itself is dubious sometimes), I have on a few occasions believed I needed to call authorities with stuff passed to me.  And I did so.  And the administration is likely to say that this is all it wants.

On another topic, I went to a Nats game tonight, and on the way, saw a poster defending Bradley Manning in the Metro (first picture, above), defining "whistleblower".  And that does not mean "snitch". 

The Nats won, 1-0, without hitting the ball at all.  A ("another") winner of the Cherry Blossom pageant threw out the first ball, but she was not the same performer as the saxophonist at Town-DC last weekend.

Above, a quick clip of Park Service Police marching before the game.  Official MLB video of the game (no embeds) is here.   

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