No doubt many of you have already heard the news. This week, the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, referred to as "CISPA", passed the House of Representatives, pushing it closer toward possible approval. In response, the hacktivist group Anonymous is calling for an Internet blackout in protest of CISPA.
For those unfamiliar with CISPA, the bill would basically allow ISPs and websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google to share private user information with the U.S. government, regardless of whether the user in question is a U.S. citizen. This exchange would be considered a measure of "cyber-security", likely protecting these sites and the government from privacy lawsuits as well.
A FAQ on the Electronic Frontier Foundation website describes:
"Whenever these prerequisites are met, CISPA is written broadly enough to permit your communications service providers to share your emails and text messages with the government, or your cloud storage company could share your stored files."
So Anonymous hopes that tomorrow, Monday, April 22, the Internet will participate in the second major Internet blackout. They've released a video as well, featuring clips of Hilary Clinton speaking out for online freedom of expression:
In 2012, major websites like Reddit and Wikipedia opted to shut off their services on January 18 in protest of SOPA and PIPA, two bills falling into the realm of Internet censorship, also under the guise of cyber-security.
The gaming industry wasn't unaffected. Riot Entertainment, the studio behind League of Legends, had urged their community to stand against SOPA, while a few publishers were criticized for allegedly supporting SOPA.