Have You Heard of CISPA???
As you probably know, last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, better known as CISPA. The bill, which aims to help the government react to cybersecurity threats by making it easier to share information between itself and private companies, saw bipartisan support. Opponents of CISPA have argued that the bill is a massive invasion of privacy, and will be used to justify wholesale spying on the American public by making companies who give up private user info immune from suits or prosecution.
Although CISPA as a whole saw bipartisan support, one last-minute amendment that looked to curtail a worrisome practice by employers was shot down on party lines.
Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter attempted to tack on a provision to CISPA that would make it illegal for employers to require prospective employees to hand over their social media passwords as a condition of acquiring or keeping a job. That provision was struck down so be prepared to hand over the passwords to your social media accounts if CISPA passes.
CISPA Will Force This Blogger (That’s Me!) To Go Dark
If CISPA is passed I can tell you what this blogger will do and will teach others to do:
1) Remove all personal information from my Facebook account and stop using it!! Only use it for managing pages I’m currently managing for clients. Only use Facebook in its own separate browser.
2) Increase my usage of TOR especially when using Gmail and Google+. It’s a browser originally developed by the Navy to facilitate anonymous browsing. Reporters and Activists use Tor to protect their identities and sources while doing research. Download TOR Here…
3) Make “Tor” Mail my primary mailbox. Tor Mail is encrypted mail that can only be accessed through the Tor browser. It’s not something that the government would have access to unless they had physical access to your computer equipment. Warning, it’s not stable and goes down a lot but that will change in the future.
4) Use Mega.co as my primary cloud storage option. Mega was originally shut down by the US Government and most thought it was killed off. It came back better than ever and is pretty much untouchable by the US Government. The New Mega is a non-profit organization promoting the vision of an ‘open and uncapturable Internet‘.
5) Scale back my usage of a Smart Phone. Yes, I have a VPN for the iPhone to help encrypt the data going through it but I will not be able to securely access my email from it.
6) iMessages – just for giggles I may start using iMessages as my primary form of texting and turn off regular texts. iMessages currently frustrates the FBI and that’s good enough for me. That’s good for Apple too.
The implications of people like myself actually implementing these steps is huge. The loss of traffic to social media sites will be felt mostly by small businesses. Large businesses and large marketing firms will no longer have access to the valuable user personal info they so desperately need to run effective ad campaigns.
CISPA makes no sense. You will just be pushing people to go dark and that will do nothing to help protect corporate networks, especially when many of them are still running Windows XP!!! Windows XP, an OS that will no longer be supported as of next April.
So maybe, just maybe, we can teach corporations to upgrade their computer software, teach employees how to use password managers, and provide employee education as to how they can help secure their corporate networks, because, after all, it’s usually some stupid human error that allows a security breach.
What will you do if CISPA is passed?