I am seriously disappointed in this essay from the EFF about CISPA.
Under the proposed legislation, a company that protects itself or other companies against “cybersecurity threats” can “use cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information to protect the rights and property” of the company under threat.
The intent of these bills is to enable the government to work with private companies to share information about APT and other internet security issues so that those companies can take action to protect themselves from attack by blocking those attacks on the network. Why is this a problem?
The EFF equates CISPA with SOPA and then engages in what I can only describe as a wide eyed conspiracy theory in which efforts to contain APT run off the rails and turn into a censorship system for the MPAA due to gross misinterpretations of words like "cybersecurity threat."
There are three problems with this.
1. The EFF's analysis bears so little resemblance to the actual intent of this bill that we cannot trust them. I don't know if this bill is good or bad, but I'm sure the EFF is totally wrong about it, which leaves me in a difficult position vis-a-vis both the bill and their analysis of future bills.
2. As the EFF's concerns bear no relationship to the intent of the bills, they could offer constructive suggestions for wording changes that would help contain the concerns they have without impacting the intent of the supporters of the bills. This ought to be a no brainer, but this kind of constructive discussion is evidently not happening.
3. SOPA supporters are out in force accusing those who opposed SOPA of spreading disinformation. By equating CISPA to SOPA, and spreading disinformation about CISPA, the EFF is playing right into the hands of those who support SOPA.
In other words, in one fell swoop, the EFF is damaging both the important work that has been done to oppose SOPA and the important work that needs to be done to protect the Internet from spies, and they have abandoned an opportunity to contribute constructively in doing so.
If the EFF becomes the kind of shrill activist group that you wish wasn't on your side, advocates of online civil liberties have got a serious problem.
The EFF is shooting everybody in the foot.