The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (H.R. 3523) was introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, and is one of many bills proposed in the U.S. Congress to address the growing threat of cyber attacks.
The bill allows companies or the government free rein to bypass existing laws in order to monitor communications, filter content, or potentially even shut down access to online services for "cybersecurity purposes."
"The language is so broad it could be used as a blunt instrument to attack websites like The Pirate Bay or WikiLeaks," the EFF warns.
"Under the proposed legislation, a company that protects itself or other companies against 'cybersecurity threats' can 'use cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information to protect the rights and property' of the company under threat. But because 'us[ing] cybersecurity systems' is incredibly vague, it could be interpreted to mean monitoring email, filtering content, or even blocking access to sites."
The bill defines "cyber threat intelligence" and "cybersecurity purpose" to include "theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information."
The EFF describes it as a little piece of SOPA wrapped up in a bill that's supposedly designed to facilitate detection of, and defense against cybersecurity threats.
"The language is so vague that an ISP could use it to monitor communications of subscribers for potential infringement of intellectual property. An ISP could even interpret this bill as allowing them to block accounts believed to be infringing, block access to websites like The Pirate Bay believed to carry infringing content, or take other measures provided they claimed it was motivated by cybersecurity concerns."
The EFF wants the American public to contact Congress about the bill.
More information: EFF
Written by: James Delahunty @ 9 Mar 2012 21:10