Hactivist group ‘Anonymous’ called for an internet blackout on Monday because the much-debated CISPA bill has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives despite warnings from the White House.
Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is a controversial bill that would allow intelligence agencies to collect personal data about Americans from private companies. Currently, it doesn’t contain any provisions pertaining to cybercrimes which means it cannot be passed yet since it compromises internet privacy.
The White House threatened to veto the CISPA bill since it contains major privacy loopholes and want amendments that would ensure minimum amount of data is handed over during investigations.
Anonymous has already bombarded Twitter with its #CISPABlackout tweets and is calling for other websites to join the protest:
The International #CISPABlackout is underway, we thank you for your support. Continue to stand up for a free internet.— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) April 22, 2013
According to the hacktivist group:
“CISPA threatens all speech with chilling surveillance and abuses of power by government and corporations. CISPA basically ends warrants and other forms of legal mandate, think of it as an indefinite wiretap on everyone.
Privacy isn't about having something to hide; it's about civil liberties and protections against tyranny. It is a matter of rights and legal integrity, not the whim of a government.”
While discussing the internet blackout on Twitter, Anonymous group also questioned the role of Google and IBM in the protest:
“CISPA gives companies like Facebook legal immunity when they exchange your private data w/ the US Govt. That's why they aren't with us”
You can view the list of websites participating in the blackout, here. A video has also been released by Anonymous calling for the digital protest:
An online petition on change.org against the CISPA bill has also been posted. As of now, it has received over 164,767 signatures.