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Netflix Could Be Classified As a 'Cybersecurity Threat' Under New CISPA Rules 125

Posted by timothy
from the negative-I-am-a-meat-popsicle dept.
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "The cybersecurity bill making its way through the Senate right now is so broad that it could allow ISPs to classify Netflix as a "cyber threat," which would allow them to throttle the streaming service's delivery to customers. "A 'threat,' according to the bill, is anything that makes information unavailable or less available. So, high-bandwidth uses of some types of information make other types of information that go along the same pipe less available," Greg Nojeim, a lawyer with the Center for Democracy and Technology, said. "A company could, as a cybersecurity countermeasure, slow down Netflix in order to make other data going across its pipes more available to users.""
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Netflix Could Be Classified As a 'Cybersecurity Threat' Under New CISPA Rules

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 29, 2014 @11:57AM (#47345159)

    Wouldn't throttling Netflix count as making Netflix "less available," thereby making the ISPs themselves a "cybersecurity threat?"

  • Pretty sure Time Warner is great at making "information unavailable or less available".

    • Pretty sure Time Warner is great at making "information unavailable or less available".

      You should throttle your connection to them.

      Wait...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 29, 2014 @11:58AM (#47345165)

    Politicians write a bill for our "safety" and "protection" that just so happens to benefit major campaign contributors!

    Wow! I tell you, some of the random things that just happen!

  • no, it's not true (Score:5, Informative)

    by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @12:04PM (#47345203)

    According to the bill a threat is anything which is anything which is part of an unauthorized effort to deny access. Netflix streaming which inadvertently leads to a denial of access would not be part of an effort to deny access.

    Here is the bill.

    http://www.feinstein.senate.go... [senate.gov]

    • According to the bill a threat is anything which is anything which is part of an unauthorized effort to deny access. Netflix streaming which inadvertently leads to a denial of access would not be part of an effort to deny access.

      Here is the bill.

      http://www.feinstein.senate.go... [senate.gov]

      Thanks for the link....
      I think Feinstein is missing a detail.
      A better approach might be to reserve bandwidth for demand use by state
      and local government. Sure this is a glass half full/ half empty thing but
      it is important to identify what services we wish to protect from denial of
      service.

      I have not checked the math and details but "sbrook" on a forum noted:
      "Remember that through that same cable you have to push a lot of TV channels and
      Radio channels, Digital phone and internet.

      "The top frequency is about 9

    • Read the actual bill? That's crazy talk!

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      So ordering Netflix is "unauthorized", and using your connection you paid for to access services is an "effort" to deny access? Netflix doesn't attempt to deny anything, and exerts no effort to do so, and the data from it is "authorized", in that it's as intended as any other data. Unless the data is 100% Netflix, then you could just as easily assert the HTTP is the cyberthreat. Arbitrarily picking a "competitor" to be the threat is absurd, and hopefully the first judge this makes it in front of will rec
  • by NotInHere (3654617) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @12:09PM (#47345225)

    DRM also makes "information less available". Finally a bill that makes EME, HDCP and alike illegal!

    • by grahammm (9083)

      As do territorial rights/restrictions - you cannot access this information because of where you are (or where geolocation of your IP address thinks you are). Or "we do not support the browser/OS you are using.

  • I have a cheap Time Warner "High Speed" Lite connection. My Netflix is already so throttled I literally do not beleive a lower quality stream is possible.
  • I just canceled my subscription. Had it since 2006. When I called to complain that my Wii, my Roku, and my computers were having trouble...in addition to them not having a Linux client...they told me to contact my ISP so that they could 'speed it up'. I have a commercial line...and every other streaming service in full HD works just fine. They refused to open up a ticket to have it looked into, so I cancelled.

    I give zero @#'s about their problems.

  • by phmadore (1391487) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @12:27PM (#47345319) Homepage Journal
    Okay then, Google and the rest should be saying: we'll find a way to directly hook into the home as if this were the early days and we owned everything except the dirt we buried the cables in though sometimes we own that too. Silicon Valley needs to grow up and swing its weight. A tax protest from just a few major corporations would be costly, and if they encouraged their employees to join, the impact would be ten fold. It's time we got together and, as a people, told the government it is not taking another step without our damn permission.
    • by camg188 (932324)
      Isn't that what elections are for? Your suggestion is just a small group of people (some of whom may not even be US citizens who can vote) throwing a tantrum until they get what they want.
      • Why do you think that one politician is any more honest than the next? Politicians represent the PARTY not you.
        • Why do you think that one politician is any more honest than the next? Politicians represent the PARTY not you.

          An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.

          --Simon Cameron

          • by phmadore (1391487)
            When you look at it, my position makes the most sense out of what is being said around this issue. There is a minority (the cable providers) effecting decisoins for the majority (everyone else, from Google to Netflix). The majority should simply protest this and the government won't be left with a choice.
            • When you look at it, my position makes the most sense out of what is being said around this issue. There is a minority (the cable providers) effecting decisoins for the majority (everyone else, from Google to Netflix). The majority should simply protest this and the government won't be left with a choice.

              You actually think the people have any say in our government? That's so adorable!

              It's actually not a bad idea, but you're operating under the misconception that our politicians aren't honest (see my previous post). They will stay bought and will ride that gravy train as long as they can. Which means that unless you're willing to buy out our elected "representatives" in the federal, state and local governments as well as the corporate lackeys running the regulatory agencies, we're out of luck.

              Wow. That s

              • by phmadore (1391487)
                Hey man, at least you're not under the impression that any of this is more than the impulse of men with a bit less intellect than those reading this forum... I'm not operating under assumptions, no matter what you say. :P
                • Hey man, at least you're not under the impression that any of this is more than the impulse of men with a bit less intellect than those reading this forum... I'm not operating under assumptions, no matter what you say. :P

                  I guess I'm just much more easily amused than you are. Or maybe it's that perspective thing again.

        • by camg188 (932324)
          You are advocating that "a few major corporations" tell the government what to do.
          Which corporations get to pick the agenda? Just the ones that do no evil? What is your recourse if you don't happen to agree with these few major corporations?
          Wouldn't be a better idea, for the sake of each individual citizen's rights, to take all the effort expended on a tax protest and use that to promote a candidate, educate the electorate and convince them to vote for them?

          Besides, I agree with Otter about protests, "I t
    • by westlake (615356)

      Google and the rest should be saying: we'll find a way to directly hook into the home as if this were the early days and we owned everything except the dirt we buried the cables in

      In the early days, ca. 1880, the telephone company owned the phone and the wire.

      At least one local telephone exchange in the Northeast began experimenting with phonographic music-on-demand over the lines about ten years later.

      The courts began looking at the use of the public airways for paid subscription services no later than the 1920s. Then and now such services were regarded by the courts as far too useful to be compromised by the cheap and the greedy.

      Then and now the courts have had no trouble whate

      • by mrbester (200927)

        That's a whole new aspect to contention ratio when you can't hear Irving Berlin's "Always" because they don't have enough phonographs / copies free...

  • Wouldn't, by doing this, the ISPs also meet the same definition of "cyber threat," as they are making data "less available"? I certainly hope so. :-P
  • by kermyt (99494) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @12:43PM (#47345401) Homepage
    Politechnician? Re-Engineering the internet for political reasons.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Dear Sen. Feinstein, please don't hand-wave "cybersecurity" when what we all know what you really mean here is "Anti-trust exemption for (some, so-called, Wall St.) ISPs", and finally ramming home CISPA. "Cybersecurity" is not just a magic buzzword you get to use to sanction whatever policital scam you happen to be pulling at the moment.

    IETF and network operators require RFC's, not legislation. Please leave the engineering to the engineers, and the security, as well.

    Thanks for listening, and good luck with

  • I have not read all the comments or the FA, but my knee jerk thinking is this is another in a long history of 'thin edge' moments.

    So many negative and 'unforeseen' consequences would follow something like a law including wording of a 'cyber threat', once the framework is in place allowing things to be classified a such, the whole game changes to what is or isn't a cyber threat, and the root problem(the law) is forgotten. Much like what happened with DMCA, Patriot Act and so much more.

    Its been my experience

  • ISPs could not throttle Netflix, if they made it less available then they would be making themselves out to be "cyber" security threats themselves.
  • 99+% of the terrorists *I* see are in movies and most of my movies are from Netflix.
  • ... Verizon, AT&T and Comcast are all cybersecurity threats for throttling select data sources.

    ISPs don't have the final say in classifying traffic priority. Customers do.

  • The bill or the letter criticizing it that were linked in TFS, but there are so many more important freedoms (sharing of data with the DOD/NSA, further erosion of the Fourth Amendment, inadequate protection of Personally Identifiable Information and more) at risk than throttling streaming of the latest Hollywood garbage.

    It amazes me that the poster would choose to focus on something both so innocuous and so unlikely, rather than the important issues. Sigh. One can only hope that there will soon be a new D

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday June 29, 2014 @06:53PM (#47346899) Homepage Journal

    That is one way to stop them i guess.. Then the content wont matter, just the act of engaging is enough to get you labeled.

    ( and bandwidth caps.. )

  • Classify satellite TV as a cybersecurity threat also. I have to pay for a "package" in order to get certain channels. Other channels are then denied to me. Also when satellite providers can't reach an agreement with a network (FOX, ABC etc.) then I suddenly lose channels. I'm not getting my information. Before you throw any rocks this way: c'mon, it's the same as the title. It's some jacked-up idea that looks great on paper to a committee making theoretical decisions of how the world actually works outside
  • Actually... you know, using the internet is a cybersecurity threat. The highest security is, like, when the internet is quiet. (Inevitably someone says, Too quiet...)

    It reminds me of what us sysadmins were always saying. This job would be so easy if it weren't for all the damned users.

  • by TrentTheThief (118302) on Monday June 30, 2014 @05:04AM (#47348755)

    What the fuck?

    How the fuck can we keep allowing knee-jerk idiots to continue making decisions in technical areas where they have no fucking experience or knowledge?

    All this shit's being driven by the same assholes who come up with ideas like "x-strikes and you're banned from the net."

    Wise up.

    STOP RE-ELECTING FAILURE. VOTE FROM THE ROOFTOPS.

  • Attention congressional assclowns! We view you as a cybersecurity threat, and intend to take care of it at the next election.

  • fucking jesus. these government assholes are so full of crap. but then again, i repeat myself.

  • ""A 'threat,' according to the bill, is anything that makes information unavailable or less available."

    With this definition, the whole internet is a 'threat'. If you are downloading something from site x, you are using bandwidth that could be making site y "less available". Therefore, any site that requires the use of bandwidth to access could be consider a threat.

  • The language seems to suggest that they're trying to outlaw things like DOS attacks and "hacking"/revealing information on US persons, government activities and the like (so all the Snowden type stuff despite the whistleblower act, as well as identity theft or release of credit card numbers and stuff), especially on private/corporate/government networks (so target/tj maxx security breaches etc) -- rather than things like Netflix on residential connections.

    I'd have thought the computer fraud and abuse act 19

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