Originally published: April 8, 2012
Last updated: April 8, 2012 - 5:17pm
An online activist site has collected 300,000 signatures in opposition to a pending "cyber-security" bill that critics say would allow increased government spying on the Internet.
The petition focuses on a bill by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), but his legislation is one of at least four proposals now being considered by Congress. According to Jerry Brito, a researcher at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, there are four competing bills because the two parties -- and the two houses of Congress -- disagree about how best to deal with online security issues. One point of controversy is over who will take the lead on the issue, the Department of Homeland Security or the National Security Agency.
Online activists who helped sink the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) earlier this year have now turned their sights to a House cybersecurity bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). In recent days, posts comparing CISPA to SOPA have received thousands of "up votes" on Web forum Reddit and have reached the front page of the popular link and discussion site. Recent posts on Reddit have called CISPA the "return of SOPA," "the latest attempt by Congress to try to regulate and control the Internet" and a "draconian privacy invasion bill."
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