Noticed anything different today? Are all of the sites you frequent still business as usual? If you happen to visit any one of the hundreds of sites participating in the CISPA protest black out, maybe not.
Today is the day some sites have chosen to go dark in protest of CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.) The bill was originally passed by the House of Representatives in April 2012, and is now working its way to the Senate with some amendments. Those who support the bill claim it will help cyber security by sharing information about cyberattack threats, however, detractors claim that it is a violation of privacy as it allows companies to hand over private user information to the government. Those in opposition of the bill include Mozilla/Firefox, Go Duck Go, Craigslist, Reddit, Cheezburger, Inc, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and more.
The hacktivist group Anonymous and other groups have organized an Internet wide site blackout and day of protest today April 22nd. They have created a Twibbon campaign for supporters to show their support on their social media icons, as well as working to get #stopcispa and #cispablackout trending on Twitter.
While there may be some well-known organizations in opposition to the bill, you are not likely to see Internet backlash to the degree of the SOPA and PIPA boycotts of 2012. The underwhelming response may be in part due to the recent announcement by the White House that they would veto the bill in its current state. Some may feel there is no clear and present danger of the bill actually being passed. It will, though, be interesting to see if additional revisions will emerge.
It is clear the bill was written to address a real problem, but concerns about misuse are legitimate. Has the CISPA Blackout affected your internet activities today? Do you think CISPA needs to be taken more seriously? Tell us about it in the comments!