Category Archives: Cyber Defense
First there was the cumbersome named and even more cumbersome acronym, Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). This bill died in committee. Then there was the more simply named and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its brother in the Senate, Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PIPA- originally PROTECT IP). SOPA was referred to committee on the House floor, PIPA was placed into permanent suspended animation in the Senate.
Now comes the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). It doesn’t have the teeth of COICA, nor the cool acronym of SOPA and PIPA, but could it pass? It seems that every new version of this bill erodes the power and control of the federal government in exchange for either greater support or less opposition by corporate interests and digital rights advocates.
There are differences between SOPA and CISPA. First, CISPA does not put onus of enforcement on internet service providers. Under SOPA, ISP’s were required to strangle bandwidth from sites suspected of violating copyright. Instead the responsibility for protecting copyright is on the copyright holders themselves. CISPA also does not create a necessarily antagonistic relationship between internet companies and the government. Instead it encourages information sharing for the sake of increased cyber security. While shifting balance between privacy and cyber security will always be controversial, it may be necessary given the increase in cyber attacks over the past five years.
It maintains to be seen whether or not this bill can attain what SOPA and COICA couldn’t, enough bi-partisan support to pass and amend the national security act.
Military Intelligence is an area of interest of mine, particularly when it comes to cyber warfare and cyber security. A new cyber warfare center is opening in Estonia, the site of perhaps the first calculated cyber attack in history. In 2007, upset over the move of a war memorial in Estonia, Russian nationals coordinated an attack on the country’s internet infrastructure. The attacks crippled internet access in Estonia for a short period of time. This new NATO cyber warfare center aims to combat these types of coordinated attack. From British Forces News: