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News Social Media Technology Web Security

CISPA CyberSecurity Bill Passes the House 288 to 127; Now to head to Senate

The House of Representatives have passed Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act on Thursday by a heavy margin of 288 to 127 after two days of intensive debate on whether the threat of “cyberattacks” was grave enough to justify the over-lingering privacy concerns. The bill which was moved to the House after a closed-door 18 to 2 vote, received support from 92 Democrats and will now move to the Senate and then to the president Obama, whose advisers recently threatened a veto of the bill as it overrides the digital privacy of American Citizens.

“In the case of Boston they were real bombs, in this case they’re digital bombs. And these digital bombs are on their way.”- said Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), a vehement CISPA supporter to hard-press the need of passing it.

“We have a constitutional obligation to defend this nation.This is the answer to empower cyber information sharing to protect this nation, to allow those companies to protect themselves and move on to economic prosperity. If you want to take a shot across China’s bow, this is the answer. ” said Mr. Mike Rogers on the House floor. Rogers, the Chairman of Intelligence committee and a Republican from Michigan is co-author of CISPA.

FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 117

On the other hand, Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority leader, said “I’m disappointed that we did not address some of the concerns mentioned by the White House about personal information. Unfortunately, it offers no policies and did not allow any amendments or real solution that upholds Americans’ right to privacy.”

“It would have been so easy to fix this bill and require sites to strip out personal information before passing them to the government,” said Mr. Holmes Wilson, co-founder, Fight For the Future, promising that he will continue to lobby against the bill.

“Right now if the government wants users’ information, the company can say no because it opens them up to being sued. If CISPA passes, there will be no legal restraint,” added Mr. Wilson, commenting on tech-giants like IBM who have voiced their support for CISPA.

What Now?
The bill now moves to Democratic-controlled Senate who thrashed it last year. In case they do the same now and choose to make any changes to current state the bill; it will return back to the house after which both the chambers must then agree on a final version in a conference. And if they do agree, the bill moves to President Obama’s Desk, whose administration recently threatened to veto it. It remains to be seen whether the amendments made after the said threat satisfy the administration’s concerns of privacy.

For those who wish to know their representatives’ votes, here is a complete list:

—- YEAS 288 —

Aderholt
Alexander
Amodei
Bachus
Barber
Barletta
Barr
Barrow (GA)
Barton
Beatty
Benishek
Bera (CA)
Bilirakis
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Black
Bonner
Boustany
Brady (TX)
Brooks (AL)
Brooks (IN)
Brown (FL)
Brownley (CA)
Buchanan
Bucshon
Burgess
Bustos
Butterfield
Calvert
Camp
Campbell
Cantor
Capito
Cárdenas
Carney
Carter
Cassidy
Castor (FL)
Chabot
Chaffetz
Clarke
Clay
Cleaver
Clyburn
Coble
Coffman
Cole
Collins (GA)
Collins (NY)
Conaway
Connolly
Cook
Cooper
Costa
Cotton
Cramer
Crawford
Crenshaw
Cuellar
Culberson
Daines
Denham
Dent
DesJarlais
Deutch
Diaz-Balart
Dingell
Duckworth
Duffy
Duncan (TN)
Ellmers
Enyart
Farenthold
Fincher
Fitzpatrick
Fleischmann
Flores
Forbes
Fortenberry
Foster
Foxx
Frankel (FL)
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Fudge
Gallego
Garamendi
Garcia
Gardner
Gerlach
Gibbs
Gingrey (GA)
Goodlatte
Gowdy
Granger
Graves (GA)
Graves (MO)
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Griffin (AR)
Griffith (VA)
Grimm
Guthrie
Gutierrez
Hanabusa
Hanna
Harper
Harris
Hartzler
Hastings (FL)
Hastings (WA)
Heck (NV)
Heck (WA)
Hensarling
Higgins
Himes
Horsford
Hoyer
Hudson
Huizenga (MI)
Hultgren
Hunter
Hurt
Israel
Issa
Jeffries
Jenkins
Johnson (OH)
Johnson, E. B.
Johnson, Sam
Jordan
Joyce
Kaptur
Kelly (IL)
Kelly (PA)
Kilmer
Kind
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kinzinger (IL)
Kirkpatrick
Kline
Kuster
LaMalfa
Lamborn
Lance
Langevin
Lankford
Larsen (WA)
Latham
Latta
Lipinski
LoBiondo
Long
Lucas
Luetkemeyer
Lujan Grisham (NM)
Luján, Ben Ray (NM)
Lummis
Maffei
Maloney, Sean
Marino
Matheson
McCarthy (CA)
McCarthy (NY)
McCaul
McHenry
McIntyre
McKeon
McKinley
McMorris Rodgers
Meehan
Meeks
Meng
Messer
Mica
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Moran
Mullin
Mulvaney
Murphy (FL)
Murphy (PA)
Neugebauer
Noem
Nunes
Nunnelee
Olson
Owens
Palazzo
Pastor (AZ)
Paulsen
Payne
Pearce
Perlmutter
Perry
Peters (CA)
Peterson
Petri
Pittenger
Pitts
Poe (TX)
Pompeo
Price (GA)
Quigley
Radel
Rahall
Rangel
Reed
Reichert
Renacci
Ribble
Rice (SC)
Richmond
Roby
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Rokita
Rooney
Ros-Lehtinen
Roskam
Ross
Rothfus
Royce
Ruiz
Runyan
Ruppersberger
Ryan (WI)
Salmon
Sanchez, Loretta
Scalise
Schneider
Schock
Schrader
Schwartz
Schweikert
Scott, Austin
Scott, David
Sessions
Sewell (AL)
Shuster
Simpson
Sinema
Sires
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Smith (WA)
Southerland
Stewart
Stivers
Stutzman
Swalwell (CA)
Terry
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Thompson (PA)
Thornberry
Tiberi
Tipton
Titus
Turner
Upton
Valadao
Vargas
Veasey
Vela
Wagner
Walberg
Walden
Walorski
Weber (TX)
Webster (FL)
Wenstrup
Westmoreland
Whitfield
Williams
Wilson (SC)
Wittman
Wolf
Womack
Woodall
Yoder
Young (AK)
Young (FL)
Young (IN)

—- NAYS 127 —
 

Amash
Andrews
Bass
Becerra
Bentivolio
Bishop (UT)
Blumenauer
Bonamici
Brady (PA)
Braley (IA)
Bridenstine
Broun (GA)
Capps
Carson (IN)
Cartwright
Castro (TX)
Chu
Cicilline
Cohen
Conyers
Courtney
Crowley
Cummings
Davis (CA)
Davis, Danny
Davis, Rodney
DeFazio
DeGette
Delaney
DeLauro
DelBene
DeSantis
Doggett
Doyle
Duncan (SC)
Edwards
Ellison
Engel
Eshoo
Esty
Farr
Fattah
Fleming
Gabbard
Garrett
Gibson
Gohmert
Gosar
Grayson
Grijalva
Hahn
Hall
Herrera Beutler
Hinojosa
Holt
Honda
Huelskamp
Huffman
Jackson Lee
Johnson (GA)
Jones
Kildee
Kingston
Labrador
Larson (CT)
Lee (CA)
Levin
Lewis
Loebsack
Lofgren
Lowenthal
Lowey
Maloney, Carolyn
Marchant
Massie
Matsui
McClintock
McCollum
McDermott
McNerney
Meadows
Michaud
Miller, George
Moore
Nadler
Napolitano
Negrete McLeod
Nolan
O’Rourke
Pallone
Pascrell
Pelosi
Peters (MI)
Pingree (ME)
Pocan
Polis
Posey
Price (NC)
Rigell
Rohrabacher
Roybal-Allard
Rush
Ryan (OH)
Sánchez, Linda T.
Sarbanes
Schakowsky
Schiff
Scott (VA)
Sensenbrenner
Serrano
Sherman
Slaughter
Speier
Stockman
Takano
Tonko
Van Hollen
Visclosky
Walz
Wasserman Schultz
Waters
Watt
Waxman
Welch
Wilson (FL)
Yarmuth
Yoho

—- NOT VOTING 17 —
 

Bachmann
Blackburn
Capuano
Holding
Keating
Kennedy
Lynch
Markey
McGovern
Miller, Gary
Neal
Nugent
Shea-Porter
Shimkus
Tierney
Tsongas
Velázquez
Categories
Interviews News Technology

“We believe in a free and open internet”-Matt Russell, Namecheap

For long, corporate entities have felt uber-cautious about getting into issues of public interest, as regardless of a company’s position, voicing support or opposition is guaranteed to spur some sort of public reaction. And why risk alienating some customers when you can simply stay mum and stick to your business?

But rarely do we get to see the other side of the spectrum; i.e. the pleasant sight of companies that feel so passionately about an issue that they’re willing to share their opinion in the public sphere; howsoever risqué it may be. And Namecheap, a top-shelf American based ICANN registrar with 3 million domains is a bellwether when it comes to issues related to internet freedom and privacy.

A vehement opponent of anti-privacy legislations for long, Namecheap further substantiated itself as a pioneer of innovation and freedom when it started accepting Bitcoins, a free and open decentralized currency as a payment option. In light of the recent developments, DHN reached out to Mr. Matt Russell, Vice President, Hosted Services at Namecheap for an interview, and he was more than happy to oblige.

Before we begin the talks regarding Namecheap’s beliefs as an organization, their stand on privacy, stellar customer support and more, let’s have a look at their recently launched promotional video. Watch it carefully as within it lies a coupon code for a great deal on new domains.

By embracing social media from an early age we’ve ingrained it’s importance throughout our company. We monitor and respond to each and every interaction we get on social media, and all of our management, including C-Level executives, enjoy using social media to help our customers.

– Matt Russell, Vice President, Hosted Services, Namecheap.

An interview with Mr Matt Russell, Vice President, Namecheap where he talks about CISPA, SOPA, Bitcoins, Anti-privacy laws,  and need for internet privacy.
Mr. Matt Russell, Vice President, Hosted Services, Namecheap.

Q: What is your name and role with Namecheap? How long have you been in this role?

A: My name is Matt Russell. I’m the Vice President, Hosted Services at Namecheap. I’ve been with Namecheap for over 6 years.

Q: For those who don’t know what Namecheap is, can you please brief it a bit?

A: Namecheap is a leading provider of domain names, hosting services, SSL certificates, a site builder and other tools to help individuals and businesses build and maintain successful websites.

Q: While many organizations shy away from taking active stance on issues of public interest, Namecheap has been pretty vocal about its vehement opposition against anti-privacy and pro censorship bills; be it SOPA, PIPA or the recently reborn CISPA. Let’s start on a broader note. Why does Namecheap think privacy is so important?

A: I’d prefer to let our track record do the speaking here, as we’ve opposed any bill that impacts on a free internet and privacy. We opposed SOPA, PIPA and most recently CISPA. We’ve also donated over $100,000 to EFF as part of their efforts to protect and maintain a free internet.

Q: The backlash against CISPA seems to have begun. Groups like Namecheap, Wikipedia, Reddit, Cheezburger etc. who blacked out on January 18th in protest of pending SOPA and PIPA legislation seem to be getting together. Namecheap recently observed its second annual ‘Move Your Domain Day’. How was the response this time compared to last year?

A: We came up with the Move Your Domain Day concept to appeal to internet users who value their internet freedom and privacy. We made a pledge to help fight any draconian governmental policies that would infringe on either of these. And internet users could voice their support by moving their domains to us.

We are very pleased with both of the MYDD campaigns that we ran.

Q: That sounds great. Can you please tell our readers in detail about Namecheap’s campaigns to combat anti-privacy bills and how they can unite with Namecheap in future to fight such bills?

A: Our stance on this is quite simple. We believe in a free and open internet and that such a powerful global communication medium is accessible to all without reprise. I’m sure I don’t need to highlight the plight of those in countries where severe internet restrictions apply. This is not how the internet was designed or how it best operates. It’s also important to note that we do not advocate illegal online activities but we do believe existing law has sufficient power to clamp down on this.

It is very difficult to predict what bills we may see in future. But Namecheap customers should rest assured in the knowledge that we will continue to oppose anything that will restrict the open, free and accessible internet as we know it.

NameCheap's Campaign against CISPA with Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Q:This one is regarding the most recent and much talked about development. Namecheap recently announced that it’ll now be accepting payments via Bitcoin after heavy requests from the tech community. Can you tell us what made you integrate Bitcoin? Also, can people expect any special Bitcoin promos for domain renewals?

A: We’re already accepting Bitcons and have an active Bitcoin userbase!

We’ve built a business based around listening to our customers and prospective customers and accommodating their demands. We saw a lot of demand from existing and prospective customers to use Bitcoin, an exciting new digital currency. So we mobilized our engineering team and quickly integrated Bitcoin payments. And by doing so, we became the first major registrar/web host to do so.

Any future promotions are linked to product and price, not payment method. But Bitcoin users can get great deals on their domain renewals by renewing for multiple years with our recently launched multi-year renewal savings

Q: I’m really impressed by the way NameCheap responds to its customers’ needs. People have started to view it as an organisation they can count on. Bitcoins, if I’m not wrong, were considered for integration after request by the reddit community, where your team is very active. How does NameCheap handle social media so effectively?

A: We’re firm believers in social media as a medium for engaging our customers and for those that have similar values to us. We were an early adopter with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and have built active communities around each channel.

By embracing social media from an early age we’ve ingrained it’s importance throughout our company. We monitor and respond to each and every interaction we get on social media, and all of our management, including C-Level executives, enjoy using social media to help our customers.

Q: We recently interviewed Miss Yin Yin Chan, Co-Founder, OnePager and she was very upbeat about Onepager being chosen as the exclusive website builder for Namecheap customers. How has the response been so far?

A: We’re very pleased with the uptake of Onepager. There are a number of site builders in the market but Onepager has the best interface and user experience by far. Our customers love the simplicity and that they can add a simple website to their domain in just a matter of minutes.

NameCheap Accepts Bitcoin Payments

Q: Our standard question to wrap things up, what’s in the box for 2013?

A: We have a lot but I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag too soon! 🙂 I can disclose a few things that we’re working on though. We are increasing the number of ccTLDs we offer for registration and renewal.

We’re launching a new, comprehensive range of dedicated servers in the very near future based out of our Phoenix data center. We’re also adding infrastructure in new geographic locations to deliver hosting and related services across the globe. Europe is our next stop, and we’ve already started installing infrastructure into a UK data center as part of our web hosting expansion.

Categories
News Web Security

Namecheap Takes a Preemptive Stance Against CISPA

Leading domain name registrar Namecheap has rung the alarm to fight against newly rebirthed CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. Relaunched earlier this week, CISPA poses a threat to of all Internet freedoms, giving the U.S. government the authority to access your private online activity without due process. Namecheap has sent a mailer to notify all its subscribers about this significant issue.

According to Richard Kirkendall, CEO of Namecheap, “CISPA is advocated under the premise of anti-terrorism legislation, but like its squashed predecessor SOPA, is so broad that it threatens to endanger the privacy of every Internet-connected law abiding citizen.”

CISPA is just another re-hashed version of SOPA, which was vehemently opposed by the entire internet community.
– Richard Kirkendall, CEO, Namecheap.

“CISPA is just another re-hashed version of SOPA, which was vehemently opposed by the entire internet community,” Kirkendall said. “This is another attempt by congress to backdoor this anti-privacy and pro censorship legislation while everyone is sleeping. We want to sound the alarm and bring attention to this while we all can still take action.”

After donating more than $100,000 to Electronic Frontier Foundation in the last 13 months, Namecheap again is running a fundraising effort to raise more money to keep this fight alive. Donations will be made at $0.10 per Facebook share or Twitter retweet of Namecheap’s official CISPA stance. Additionally, promotional code CISPAalert has been created for $1 off com/net/org registrations and transfers to Namecheap. Using this code, $0.10 will be donated per domain registered or transferred.

“EFF is pleased to stand with Namecheap in voicing strong opposition to the CISPA legislation recently re-introduced in the House. We thank Namecheap users for their much-needed support and generosity. With the support of the Namecheap community, EFF can continue the fight for digital rights on behalf of all Internet users,” said Shari Steele, Executive Director, EFF.

About Namecheap
Namecheap is a Los Angeles-based ICANN accredited domain registrar founded in 2000 by CEO Richard Kirkendall. With over 1,000,000 clients and millions of domain names under management, Namecheap is one of the top domain registrars in the world and also offers web hosting services. Find out more by visiting  www.namecheap.com.

*Information regarding the CISPA act can be found on The Washington Post.