updated 02:05 pm EDT, Tue April 24, 2012
EFF letter asks congress refuse cybersecurity bill
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published an open letter co-signed by a number of engineers, security professionals, and academics who are against proposed cybersecurity bills. Critics argue that security legislation under consideration, including CISPA, uses overly broad language that could potentially lead to privacy loss for Internet users.
The letter claims that the bills "are drafted to allow entities who participate in relaying or receiving Internet traffic to freely monitor and redistribute those network communications. The bills nullify current legal protections against wiretapping and similar civil liberties violations for that kind of broad data sharing."
Lawmakers have been asked to stop legislation that uses vague language to describe both security threats and countermeasures, in order to prevent normal Internet use being called a "cybersecurity" threat. The authors further argue that companies should not be immune from liability for privacy violations without evidence of wrongdoing, while "cybersecurity" actions should not be exempt from existing laws that protect privacy, such as the Wiretap Act, and collected data should not be used to prosecute unrelated crimes.
The open letter follows the EFF and other civil liberties organizations commencing a campaign against CISPA last week, where readers were asked to contact their member of Congress via Twitter. The White House National Security Council warned against similar bills shortly afterwards.