Insiders expected the Senate to vote on the much-contested cyberspying bill CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (PDF)) when it convened from Memorial Day recess.
On Tuesday The Hill reported that the bill had indeed stalled and that its supporters (desperate to pass cybersecurity legislation) were vocally upset that its time was fast running out.
It's now expected that the Senate might not vote until the 3rd or 4th week of June.
- Read also: How SOPA protests were used to push CISPA
- Background: Say 'hello' to CISPA, it will remind you of SOPA
CISPA has been nicknamed “SOPA 2? but is more accurately described as cyber-spying legislation.
Most people familiar with CISPA believe it will wipe out decades of consumer privacy protections and is primarily to give the US government unprecedented access to individuals’ online data and communications.
In response to CISPA, and to further fight proposed legislation considered harmful to the internet, SOPA strike organizers Fight For The Future formed an organization calling itself the Internet Defense League.
The Internet Defense League has just sent the below statement to its supporters and CISPA opponents with intent to raise a call to action in light of CISPA's new and ongoing delays:
CISPA's supporters are in a race against time: in just 7 weeks Congress will shut down, election season kicks in, and the clock runs out for CISPA. Even better, the fact that Congress postponed the vote means they probably don't have enough "yes" votes yet.
Remember: these bills would end online privacy, treating everyone like criminals instead of making us more secure.
We set out to make eliminating online privacy a messy proposition for the Senate. And it’s working.
If we can keep the calls, emails, meetings, and creative campaigns coming, we can tip the scales.
Here’s the problem: there’s 6 of us, we’ve got several other huge projects on our plates (including launching the Internet Defense League and a plan to neutralize “6-strikes”) and we already had to expand our team to get this far on CISPA.
If we can’t raise another $10,000 today, we won’t be able to go all-in to stop CISPA.
The odds are against us, but the idea of giving the FBI, NSA, and local police a permanent warrantless wiretap on our online life... well, it makes us sick. Let’s win this one.
-Douglas and Zak Fight for the Future
CISPA is widely opposed: there are dozens of alarming articles from respected media sources, plentiful online campaigns to stop CISPA, activism by the EFF and Center for Democracy and Technology. There have been attacks on pro-CISPA companies by Anonymous, and protests by the ACLU and Free Press.
CISPA is a bill that primarily protects internet companies when they share private data and communications with the government - it promotes digital spying on citizens without a warrant under the guise of cybersecurity.
The spying and communication interception in this instance would be done by government entities such as Homeland Security.
CISPA was amended after the first round of public outcry to remove language about intellectual property and attempted a tighter definition of cybersecurity.
The amendments bring deeper concerns to light, as the devil resides in the details.
As CISPA now defines it, cybersecurity threats include efforts to disrupt, degrade, destroy or gain unauthorized access to any system or network, whether privately owned (by a company) or owned by government.