Those following the news regularly will know that the highly debated Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) has once again made it through the House of Representatives late last week. In the aftermath, known hacker and freedom activist group Anonymous are encouraging an Internet Blackout Day in the hopes of raising awareness.
A similar outcry for public awareness of CISPA took place in January of 2012, when websites were either replace or altered by messages explaining how dangerous this clause is for online security and freedom. Some of the most influential websites took part, such as Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, Mozilla, and 7000 more websites, which culminated is the Protect IP Act being scrubbed (remember "Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act", or just PIPA?) as well as SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act).
The group with the Guy Fawkes masks have started to encourage websites to take action again against CISPA by blocking their sites, explaining why they are down, and encouraging other site owners to follow suit. The hacktivist organization believe that the internet should not be controlled by any one, and that information and access to should be free and unconstrained. However, those in favour of the bill are of the belief that by having legal control over the internet, they can have direct routes to dangerous individuals without warrants, at the cost of privacy and data protection laws, and by extension, the fourth amendment.
As the act does not specify exactly what type and class of data pertains to cyber intelligence, it could give law enforcement agencies the power to turn popular public and private sharing websites into what you see in the picture below. We urge you contact your local senator or representative and make your own opinion heard, so that this can be decided upon as democratically as possible.