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Mozilla Calls CISPA an "Alarming" Threat to Privacy 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-not-like dept.
Sparrowvsrevolution writes "Mozilla has taken a public stand against the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, saying that it has a 'broad and alarming reach' that 'infringes on our privacy.' That makes it the first major tech firm to speak out against CISPA. Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Oracle and Symantec are all included among the companies that support the bill, which passed the House late last month and is now being considered in the Senate. Google has so far declined to take a stand supporting or opposing the bill."
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Mozilla Calls CISPA an "Alarming" Threat to Privacy

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  • ..."Why the hell did it take you this long?"

    • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @05:29PM (#39873033)

      Well at least they finally did. This would make me want to use Mozilla browsers while avoiding MS, Google browsers. (No idea where Apple or Opera stands.)

      • by anared (2599669)
        Why not use Firefox anyway? The best browser around, its Aurora version that is... I recommend you all to check the Aurora channel out ;)
        • I use firefox. Can't live without it. I just wish it wasn't so slow, that it didn't choke on flash on Linux and that more extensions could be (un)loaded without restarting.

  • Google (Score:5, Informative)

    by recoiledsnake (879048) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @05:24PM (#39872975)

    Google did indicate that they're lobbying on it, but won't say which way, which leads to the question. If they're lobbying against it, why would they hide it?

    http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/223069-google-acknowledges-lobbying-on-cybersecurity-bill-cispa [thehill.com]

    There are strong indications that Google is actually supporting the bill behind closed doors and hiding it avoid a public backlash.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/221977-gop-chairman-google-supportive-of-controversial-cybersecurity-bill-cispa [thehill.com]

  • The Mozila site shows no mention of this.

    I am not usually up for direct action[0] etc.. but maybe Mozilla could highlight this by including an 'alert' in the next update or show a page with the details - rather than a 'Change Log / Whats New' page [Which few people read anyways]

    Silly me.

    0. A browser should only render html as defined - like - years ago....

    • by Xest (935314)

      Yeah, cos that's what everyone of a globally used browser wants to see - American centric political issues blasted in their face.

      The problem is if Mozilla does this where do they stop? start putting up alerts for every internet related political issue in all major countries?

      It's not really the job of the browser to be a news source.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If Mozilla had laid out some hypothetical scenarios where abuse or misuse could occur, that might be convincing. Just saying, "this is an assault on privacy and should be rejected" is not very.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Just saying, "this is an assault on privacy and should be rejected" is not very

      Oh crap! Look everyone! He got cut off by CISPA!

  • by mrbester (200927) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @05:29PM (#39873027) Homepage

    " We hope the Senate takes the time to fully and openly consider these issues with stakeholder input before moving forward with this legislation."

    Unsurprisingly the main stakeholder, the one who would be most affected by this legislation is never consulted.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CanHasDIY (1672858)

      " We hope the Senate takes the time to fully and openly consider these issues with stakeholder input before moving forward with this legislation."

      Unsurprisingly the main stakeholder, the one who would be most affected by this legislation is never consulted.

      Well, that's what you get for thinking we still have a government by, for, and of the People.

      Apparently, when Bush referred to the Constitution as "just a goddamn piece of paper" he wasn't only being a traitorous ass, he was setting legal precedent.

      • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @05:50PM (#39873205)

        Apparently, when Bush referred to the Constitution as "just a goddamn piece of paper" he wasn't only being a traitorous ass, he was setting legal precedent.

        Yeah! Except for the fact that he never said anything remotely like that. [factcheck.org]

        True scepticism means doubting the things you really want to be true.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        I cannot find a citation that Bush said this, anymore than I can find a citation that Obama said it. I suspect it's an urban legend.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          And I was right. Please do NOT repeat lies that have no evidence of being true. It's as bad as citing Alex Jones as a reliable source.

          Doug Thompson (original author of that hit piece) says: "This is to let you know that the piece on Bush and the Constitution has been changed and reads: ' This article was based on sources that we thought, at the time, were reliable. We have since discovered reasons to doubt their veracity. For that reason, this article has been removed from our database. ' I no longer st

          • And I was right. Please do NOT repeat lies that have no evidence of being true. It's as bad as citing Alex Jones as a reliable source.

            Indeed; I have since removed the phrase from my vocabulary.

            However, though he may not have used those exact words, other words and actions of his make me confident that the aforementioned phrase is an accurate descriptor of Bush's attitude regarding the framework of our republic.

            • by cpu6502 (1960974)

              Unless Bush is delusional like our current president (claims to be a "constitutional scholar" while bending-over backwards to strike-out the Bill of Rights). I love how his right-hand advisor claimed he doesn't need the People's Congress for permission to bomb Libya..... he got the permission from the unelected bureaucrats at the U.N.

              • by whoever57 (658626)

                (claims to be a "constitutional scholar" while bending-over backwards to strike-out the Bill of Rights)

                In this context, you mis-understand the word "scholar". This usage of "scholar" means someone who studies something in detail to reveal its weaknesses.

              • by Grishnakh (216268)

                Being a scholar of something doesn't necessarily mean you actually like it. You may be studying it so you can figure out how to subvert or destroy it.

                However, I fail to see how Obama has done anything with regard to the Constitution or Bill of Rights that is any worse, or even different, from what presidents before him (namely Bush) have done.

                • by cpu6502 (1960974)

                  I can't believe you're defending Obama. Both he and Bush should be tried in Nuremberg for war crimes.

                  • by Grishnakh (216268)

                    Defending Obama? I'm only defending the bit about being a "constitutional scholar", and I pointed out how he hasn't done anything any worse than Bush. So, obviously, logically speaking, if Bush should be tried in Nuremberg, then so should Obama. I never said Bush was any good either, just that Obama was the same.

                • by cpu6502 (1960974)

                  P.S. And I don't recall Bush ordering the assasination of American citizens (including a 16 year old boy). That alone tips the balance of making Obama "worse". All citizens have a right to being captured, and then placed on trial.

                  Obama has also expanded the power of the TSA not just as airports, but as to search/patdown people in train terminals, along interstates, at post offices/unemployment centers, and just recently: Bus-riders in Texas. (So-called VIPR teams; what a great orwellian name.)

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Please do NOT repeat lies that have no evidence of being true.

            I think you just broke my irony meter with that line. Thanks.

      • by ATMAvatar (648864) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @09:20PM (#39874865) Journal

        Well, that's what you get for thinking we still have a government by, for, and of the People.

        We still do. Remember: corporations are people, too.

    • by Nugoo (1794744)
      Yeah, there should be some kind of lobbyist for normal people. But how do you choose just a few individuals to represent such a huge population? Maybe you could have, like, a vote, or something?
      • by asa (33102)

        How? Simple. You support organizations like Mozilla that exist to give you a voice on the Internet and to put the needs of users above the needs of stockholders.

    • Welcome to the United States. You must be new here.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Thank goodness a corporation finally spoke up against this bill! I mean sure, all those citizens did too, but they're just people and that's not how we do things in America.

  • Perhaps this can be a catalyst for other tech companies opposing this bill; we can hope it could cause enough bad PR for companies that are supporting CISPA that they reverse their position.

    One can dream...

  • by dryriver (1010635) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @05:41PM (#39873131)
    The powers-that-be seem to have a set plan for the internet: To control everything that can be controlled, and to shut down/filter out anything that can't. It doesn't matter what the bill is called: SOPA. PIPA. CISPA. They could call it FIRECRACKER and it wouldn't matter. ---- They will keep coming back, and coming back, and coming back with the same control-the-internet-horseshit under a different name, until the desired deed is done: All user data surveilled & catalogued. All internet piracy rubbed out. All offending sites closed down. Maybe even a "War on Internet Conspiracy Theories" needs to be fought, so everyone winds up believing the - often terribly contrived - official accounts of the history we are currently living through, and the events that are shaping the world. ---- Perhaps the powers-that-be (PTB) had this plan for the Internet all along: Don't do anything to regulate it in the beginning, so it becomes a free space where anything goes, and one that grows fast and thrives. But once it has "matured" - with over say 3 Billion people online - that's when you want to regulate the fuck out of it, and turn it into something that doesn't question corporate and government, but rather bends over backwards to it. ---------- Take it from me, these powerful people follow a set agenda, and that agenda say "The Internet must be brought under control". What does it matter that CISPA passes or not. They will wait 3 months and push another bill with the same content through. ----------- It was nice knowing you, Free Internet. Too bad that future generations will never experience you, because the only Internet they know will be a bound, gagged, homogenized and filtered Internet. Farewell, old friend. You served humanity, and served it well. Too bad that the PTB don't want you to stay this way. And too bad that they are ignorant enough to want to destroy everything that made the internet useful and interesting.
    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      >>> turn it into something that doesn't question corporate and government

      They can't take away our first amendment right to speak & publish our thoughts. And if they manage to succeed..... well we still have the second.

      • Re:take away (Score:4, Informative)

        by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @06:50PM (#39873695) Journal

        (Bitter)
        Of course they can.
        You seem to think the Constitution means something.
        However Corporations now have Sudo powers over the Constitution.
        (/Bitter)

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        The 2nd Amendment isn't much help. The people who actually care about that, and are armed, are also usually the same people that actually like bills like this. They'll get in a big huff about Obama's birth certificate or abortion or whatever, but they don't give a shit about online freedom or First Amendment rights, and most would prefer to rescind the 1A, especially the bit about religion, as they want to establish a theocracy.

        Now of course, this obviously doesn't describe all 2A supporters, but the ones

        • by a90Tj2P7 (1533853)

          Now of course, this obviously doesn't describe all 2A supporters, but the ones who believe in free access to firearms and who also believe in freedom of/from religion are a small minority.

          [citation needed] Most second amendment supporters are strongly against "big goverment" and anything that takes away from constitutional rights. There may be a lot of people who are conservative and/or religious (though not nearly as many as you clearly believe), but that has nothing to do with whether or not you value online freedom or the first amendment. I'm really not sure where you're pulling this drivel from that all or a majority of second amendment supporters are birthers, want the goverment to limi

          • Unfortunately my experience with second amendment supports hasn't been that good, they may not be the majority but they are the most visible. A lot of them claim they are against big government but what they want is big government that they like. Quite a number of the ones I met believed that Bush was a small government president. These were the same people who wanted government to step in with he Dubai Ports World purchase, as well as the "Ground Zero" Mosque.These individuals also want bigger government t
            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              Thank you, I couldn't have said it any better myself. This is exactly what I was talking about.

            • by a90Tj2P7 (1533853)
              You may have a lot of annecdotal experience with demographics that contain people who own guns, that doesn't mean everyone who owns guns fits in those demographics. An estimated 45% of American households own at least one gun, only 35% of the country claims to be Republican. Obviously your information doesn't add up.
              • I never said that these people were a majority of Americans, a majority of Republicans, or even a majority of gun owners. I thought I clearly stated that they probably are not:

                Unfortunately my experience with second amendment supports hasn't been that good, they may not be the majority but they are the most visible.

                The problem is they are among the most visible gun owners and give responsible reasonable ones a bad name. They are like that problem family member that goes to get togethers, drinks way too much, and everyone feels embarrassed by. On the other side of the spectrum I have family members who believe that I have effectively murdered my

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            There may be a lot of people who are conservative and/or religious

            Probably, but conservatism is against everything Christ taught, so though they may be "religious" they're certainly not Christians.

            Conservatives worship money and the people who have it. Period. No matter what else they think they worship.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          >>>armed people that actually like bills like this.

          That's not what I'm seeing at Infowars.com and other "alt-media" sites with open comments. The people armed to the teeth hate CISPA, Patriot Act, NDAA, etc. Don't be deluded into thinking Republican Party views == the view of gunholders

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            The gunholders vote Republican stridently, so I see no reason to believe that the people on your "alt-media" sites are anything but a very small minority, and the majority of them agree with Republican Party views. Sure, many gunholders will vote for Ron Paul (the only "Republican" who's against the Patriot Act) in the primaries, but as soon as that's over and he loses, they'll flock to back Romney, just like they did in '08 when they flocked to support McCain and Palin. If they were really that numerous,

            • by cpu6502 (1960974)

              >>>then Paul wouldn't have had such tiny numbers at the polls

              Paul is racking up states left-and-right. In just the last few weeks, he's won Iowa, Colorado, Washington, Minnesota, and Louisiana. Plus a majority of the delegates in Romney's home state of Massachusetts. (And I expect Paul will win Maine, Nevada, Alaska, and the ~10 former Santorum states.)

              Furthermore according to CBS polling, in a Paul v. Obama runoff the congressman would do just as well as Romney. His support is not "small".....

    • by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @06:26PM (#39873491)

      Don't feel too bad.

      They can regulate wired connections to a point. Obviously, because it takes major corporations to own and operate those physical connections .

      When the Internet becomes so un-free that everyday people begin seeking an alternative, one will be found. Have people stopped smoking weed because it is illegal? No. Stopped speeding? No. Will they stop enjoying a free Internet because it becomes illegal? Hell no.

      You can design an infrastructure to be anonymous and private from the very beginning, and we are starting to do this on many fronts. While there have been some fights against such infrastructures with moderate successes, it has been against a fledgling infrastructure with pitiful participation by everyday people.

      Look at TBP, Kazaa, Limewire for example. People have demonstrated that they will find a way to engage in the behavior they wish to engage in. Period. You have an entire generation growing up that started with a free Internet, and a generation behind that created it. Neither will sit back and accept destruction.

      Those are the kiddie pool versions. Darknets and Mesh Networking can usher in a new age where shutting down dissenting opinion and punishing people will actually require roving vans triangulating signals like in Pump Up The Volume.

      The PTB has just started, but so have we. The war has not even begun yet and you are throwing in the towel. Don't be that guy man. Hack the Planet! :)

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        Have people stopped smoking weed because it is illegal? No

        Does a majority of the population smoke weed? No. Does a large enough portion of the population believe in legalization to get it done? No (it's not even a majority). So, it remains illegal because most of the population either wants it to stay that way, or because they don't care, and the politicians are following along to get votes. Just look at what happens if you criticize any Obama fans about his record on marijuana prohibition.

        Stopped spee

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Does a large enough portion of the population believe in legalization to get it done? No (it's not even a majority).

          Your facts are out of date. See what the polls say. [gallup.com]

          PRINCETON, NJ -- A record-high 50% of Americans now say the use of marijuana should be made legal, up from 46% last year. Forty-six percent say marijuana use should remain illegal.

          When Gallup first asked about legalizing marijuana, in 1969, 12% of Americans favored it, while 84% were opposed. Support remained in the mid-20s in Gallup measure

          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            Polls are frequently skewed, because they only cover a small subset of the population. We have another poll that actually covers the entire population, and it's called "elections". In that poll, people consistently vote for strongly anti-marijuana candidates like Bush and Obama. Don't forget, your gallup polls cover the entire population, when there's a sizeable subset of the population who simply don't matter: non-voters. The opinions of people under 18 don't matter, nor do the opinions of felons; thes

    • The powers-that-be seem to have a set plan for the internet:

      I, at the risk of doffing my tinfoil hat (the z rays might get me), would suggest that the plan is for Us, and Includes the internet.

  • We should be as eager not to give them any more money, too, whenever we can.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We should be as eager not to give them any more money, too, whenever we can.

      And yet millions of people will go to see movies like Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers this summer. Most of them will probably never even consider that every penny they spend on those tickets will find its way into a Congressman's pocket in order to push through the next SOPA/PIPA/CISPA bill or ACTA/TPP trade agreement.

  • We dont need new laws... We do need new Government.

    There are too many laws. Many of which do not represent the people's interests at all.

    The people have already spoken... however its the corporations that have the power to shut the people up, and lock them up. ... and they're working on that right now.

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      It was only a minority of the people who spoke. The majority doesn't care, and just wants to watch Survivor or whatever the latest reality TV fad is.

  • they would cut their ties with Google since Google is in bed with the NSA and other government snoops
  • Why, when so many tech companies were opposed to SOPA, are they behind CISPA? What benefit are they now being offered that they weren't before?
    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      As I explained in my submission to slashdot (same topic): "They get immunity from civil and criminal liability in the courts." -- In other words you can't sue your ISP or website corporation, if they reveal your private data to the U.S. DHS.

    • by dcollins117 (1267462) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @06:33PM (#39873537)

      Why, when so many tech companies were opposed to SOPA, are they behind CISPA? What benefit are they now being offered that they weren't before?

      SOPA required tech companies to spend money and allocate resources toward something that did not benefit them. CISPA gives the tech companies unrestrained ability to profit from selling what was previously considered your private data. As a bonus, the law provides them immunity from lawsuits, so no matter what they do with the data, lawful or not, they cannot be held accountable.

    • by a90Tj2P7 (1533853)

      Why, when so many tech companies were opposed to SOPA, are they behind CISPA? What benefit are they now being offered that they weren't before?

      RTFBills. Both have something to do with internet privacy, and that's the end of the similarities. SOPA was about expanding copyright laws and enforcement, it turned people and companies into criminals and allowed for ridiculous levels of censorship - like blacklisting domains for linking to an infringing site or holding a website accountable for something a user posted/uploaded. CISPA is about making it easier for the federal goverment to solicit information from companies. People need to stop making SOPA

  • Legalspeak (Score:3, Interesting)

    by steelyeyedmissileman (1657583) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @06:20PM (#39873449)

    I finally got up the courage to try taking a look at the actual bill; fortunately it's not very long, and isn't too dense, but may leave a few loopholes that could be of concern. A few thoughts:

    In Sec. 2(b)(1):
    `(B) SELF-PROTECTED ENTITIES- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a self-protected entity may, for cybersecurity purposes--
    `(i) use cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information to protect the rights and property of such self-protected entity; and
    `(ii) share such cyber threat information with any other entity, including the Federal Government.

    Sounds like individuals are at least allowed to own/use security systems/software for protection and testing of their own network, so no reduction to rights in that regard.

    In Sec. 2(b)(3): Cyber threat information shared in accordance with paragraph (1)--
    `(A) shall only be shared in accordance with any restrictions placed on the sharing of such information by the protected entity or self-protected entity authorizing such sharing, including appropriate anonymization or minimization of such information;

    Any information shared by an entity must be treated in accordance to the desires of that entity; so a lot of the privacy issues fall to the sharing entity itself for protection. Possible loop-hole here: what happens if information is not well-protected by a sharing agency? Does this give the government open reign on information if it's not explicitly forbidden them? Or worse, the final part of this section states:

    In Sec. 2(b)(3): Cyber threat information shared in accordance with paragraph (1)--
    `(D) shall be exempt from disclosure under a State, local, or tribal law or regulation that requires public disclosure of information by a public or quasi-public entity.

    If a business chooses to share personal information about customers, there is no way for customers to find out or be aware it is happening. I'm sure there are good reasons to put an exemption like this in the bill, but the lack of explicit protection to the individual customers and citizens is glaring.

    As for the limits on what can be done with the information:
    Sec 2(c):
    `(2) AFFIRMATIVE SEARCH RESTRICTION- The Federal Government may not affirmatively search cyber threat information shared with the Federal Government under subsection (b) for a purpose other than a purpose referred to in paragraph (1)(B).

    I'm not familiar with the legal-speak here; what is meant by "affirmatively" searching?

    There are some good things I found too. The remainder of Sec 2 is a good start, but it's hard to know if it is sufficient protection for individual rights and privacy or not. Overall, I'm really not sure how I feel about this bill. I don't see anything obvious that tells me its a bad idea, but I don't fully understand all of the nuances of what could happen with it. It seems any government that wants to exploit its citizens will do so, regardless of the legal code, so I'm not sure how this bill would make that kind of abuse any more likely.

    • Seems to me that if it's not clear that this is a useful bill then it's either poorly written or not useful, or both. Is that not justification to be opposed?
  • by StillNeedMoreCoffee (123989) on Wednesday May 02, 2012 @06:38PM (#39873583)

    Let your Senators and congressman know your feeling on this issue. Only through a widespread outcry will the legislators understand that our freedoms and privacy (which is a cornerstone of freedom) is dear and we understand the implication of this legislation. Given the track record of say Bush in office who directed the Justice Department to try and bring cases against Democratic Legislators (so much so that several quit, others fired), we can't trust the government to always act in our best interest (mostly but not always). Once a privacy is pried open, its hard to get the sardine can closed again.

    • Done. They don't care. My Congressman voted FOR CISPA, when I wrote to him AGAINST SOPA and internet regulation. My Senator (Maria Cantwell) responded to my anti-CISPA letter with a letter that had absolutely no mention of CISPA at all.

      Next step: vote them out. I will not vote for any incumbents. They're all part of the problem, they're politicians second, greedy people first, and willing to do something good for their country last with personal agendas in between.

      After that, we need to get rid of this

      • Wow you got a response back from your senator I would consider that a victory. Granted it wasn't a response to what you sent them but a response none the less. Whenever I write to my representatives at the federal level I never get a response (Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, Norm Coleman previously, and John Kline). I would love it if they would remove the party identifier from the ballot so that people couldn't just vote down the party line and actually had to know who they were voting for.
      • All generalizations are false, including this one.

        All incumbents are not bad. Actually the mess we have been in the last few years voting in Tea Party members shows that new or change is not always good. The process of governing is one that is complex and involved and people who have been in it for a couple of years already can be better at it.

        So the simplification of all incumbents is dangerous. Certainly we should throw all the bums out, we just have to make sure its the bums we are throwing out and that

  • We need to get people fired up. Once people are sufficiently abuzz about this issue, the corporations will take notice. Question the tech companies about their stance on this bill. If they won't divulge their involvement one way or the other, assume they're pro CISPA and blast them for it. If congress will only listen to corporations, then make sure corporations are on our side. Make sure they know that if they aren't with us, they're against us. Make sure they know we hold them accountable and there will b
  • Mozilla!? Isn't that run by a bunch of freedom loving hippies.

  • by Skal Tura (595728) on Thursday May 03, 2012 @04:59AM (#39876701) Homepage
  • Once the internet has all our data, where is all this profit coming from, precisely? We have an economy that can't seem to grow in the last decade or more. We have infrastructure falling apart. Where, precisely, are these dollars coming from that are going to benefit companies that support this?

    They're thinking about the next 4 quarters of profit and not about the fact that they value our future at about $0.

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