The EFF teams up with OpenMedia.ca and others to launch Stop Cyber Spying Week

OpenMedia.ca is participating in a week of Internet-wide protests today against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA). This is a controversial piece of cybersecurity legislation in the U.S. which, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), would negate existing privacy laws and allow companies to share user data with the government without a court order. In standing against this and Canada’s online spying bill (C-30), the pro-Internet community can join civil liberties organizations across borders to protest laws that would make the Internet a more closed and paranoid space.

What does CISPA have to do with online spying in Canada? Canada’s online spying bill was likely tabled to keep in step with what’s happening in the States. This wouldn’t be the first time this has happened—Professor Michael Geist recently brought to light a set of U.S. cables published by Wikileaks that show Canadian officials making efforts to satisfy American demands regarding copyright legislation.

Similar dynamics may be at play with the online spying legislation—Public Safety Minister Vic Toews met with U.S. Homeland Security officials in August last year. In addition, the Perimeter Security deal between Canada and the U.S. includes the establishment of a 'cybersecure perimeter' around both countries. This may mean that Canada will have to meet whatever U.S. cybersecurity (read: online spying) regime is ultimately adopted.

The coalition is urging the public to take part in a Twitter protest directed at our lawmakers, using the hashtags #CongressTMI, #CISPA, and #StopSpying.

In addition to the Twitter protest, we at OpenMedia.ca are participating in the planning of letter-writing and publishing articles that outline the civil liberties implications of invasive online spying.

Some facts about CISPA, courtesy of the EFF:

  • CISPA is sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-MD).
  • This is legislation that sacrifices civil liberties in the name of security.
  • CISPA uses dangerously vague language to define the breadth of data that can be shared with the government.
  • It hands the reins of America’s cybersecurity defenses to the NSA, an agency with no transparency and little accountability.
  • It allows data shared with the government to be used for purposes unrelated to cybersecurity.

To hold the line against online spying here in Canada, visit http://openmedia.ca/StandWithUs.

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Topics: Online Spying