An online petition to protest the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, otherwise known as CISPA, has reached over three-quarters of a million signatures.
As of this writing, the petition, launched on April 5 on Avaaz.org, has over 765,000 signature.
The petition describes CISPA as a bill “that would give private companies and the U.S. government the right to spy on any of us at any time for as long as they want without a warrant” and calls on members of congress “to show true global leadership and do all you can to protect our Internet freedom.”
Supporters of CISPA say that the bill is merely intended to help prevent cyber attacks by allowing companies and the government to share information about potential security threats.
As Blippitt first wrote when we introduced CISPA to you earlier this month, many say that this bill is even worse than SOPA, the infamous Stop Online Piracy Act that the web community played a key role in defeating earlier this year.
On Tuesday, CISPA’s authors announced that they would add amendments to the bill to help calm the firestorm of controversy it has created. Those amendments would restrict the government’s use of private information to certain categories as well as limit the type of cyberthreat-related data that can be shared.
The Avaaz petition, meanwhile, urges lawmakers “to immediately drop” CISPA, so it’s unlikely that the recent changes will appease the petition’s signatories. A separate petition on Avaaz.org that has gathered over 600,000 signatures calls on Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft to withdraw their support of CISPA.
This afternoon, meanwhile, the Obama administration said that it strongly opposes the CISPA bill.
In a statement, the administration said the bill fails to ensure that the “nation’s core critical infrastructure is protected” while repealing provisions of electronic surveillance law without concerns for privacy and civil liberties safeguards.
The statement added that if the bill were presented to the president as it stands currently, his senior advisers would recommend a veto.
- CISPA amendment met with lukewarm response from privacy groups (thenextweb.com)
- Politicians Amend Controversial CISPA Security Bill (escapistmagazine.com)
- Why CISPA Could Do More Harm Than Good (webpronews.com)