Not very long ago another act was slowly making its way through the field of legal battles, the Stop Online Piracy Act. However the SOPA never made it to the mainstream because as soon as it gained momentum it was stopped by the big internet names such as Twitter, Wikipedia and Facebook. Firms such as these were loud when speaking out against the act and many resorted to protest campaigns, others even went so far as to shut down there websites.
The reason for their flamboyant behavior is evident in the fact that the new SOPA legislation could have had a serious impact on their well being and so they did everything they could in order to prevent this. However now, three months after that entire scenario is part of history, a new act, namely, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is following the footsteps of the Stop Online Piracy Act yet the same cries that were so audible back then are not even vaguely present this time round. In fact those same firms who retaliated against, and stood in opposition to the last act, are on the other side of the fence for CISPA. Even, before CISPA came, there was ACTA, PIPA and others like that.
So far all those who have stood against the CISPA and tried to get in its way have largely been individuals using the internet and civil rights organizations, no big names with them. Instead this time with the CISPA legislation many of the internet giants such as Facebook are in the category of groups endorsing and standing in favor of this change. Till recently no tech company had made any move against the legislation, and this resulted in the bill gaining support and being passed by The House of Representatives this past week.
However Mozilla is the first tech company to take a step against CISPA and is so far moving in the direction to try and stop this legislation from coming in to play. Mozilla seems to have good reason, just as the individuals protesting against CISPA to take the stance that it has. It can be seen from details of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act that this act reaches far beyond the boundaries of internet security alone. With a very vague definition of cybersecurity it has hard to imagine what those in favor of the bill may have in mind when speaking of that term on its own. Not to mention the fact that the act quite visible infringes on internet users’ privacy and their right to keeping their information their own. And still the bill goes on to further work against internet users by providing large internet based companies as well as investigation agencies and even the government immunity in the aspect of information misuse. Not forgetting the fact that the use of any information is not very clearly defined, and that too can be left to their interpretation of whatever they deem necessary.
According to supporters the move is a necessary action as it will assist the government is sharing top secret cybersecurity information with all other tech firms. Even though civil right organizations argue that it does infringe the rights of individual users and their personal privacy it is still supported by the larger firms as they claim it will make fighting online crime much easier. Detecting and taking action against local and foreign hackers will be much easier in terms of costs and resources. In this regard Mozilla too should benefit.
Even if Mozilla could benefit, it is still standing by the rights of consumers and is keeping an eye out for its users.