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How New Privacy Laws will Affect Digital Commerce: Legislation of Privacy- (Part 2)

In my last post, I discussed how many of the newer and upcoming laws regarding privacy in the United States can heavily effect your life, from how you buy insurance to which bits of personal information are gathered while you shop online, go to the bank, or talk on the phone. While the first post of this four part series dealt with the effect of these laws on your digital life; this post, in particular, will focus on the effects of the same on Digital commerce.

Much like your social activities, your consumer habits and activities are also subject to privacy violations, especially when they occur online or through a mobile device. The following are laws that seek to address a number of major issues related to consumer privacy rights.

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)Proposed by Rep. Michael Rogers and co-sponsored by 111 other House members, CISPA is designed to help the government better investigate cyber threats and ensure that large networks are secure against the threat of cyberattack. To do that, the act would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and certain technology and manufacturing companies. While noble in its intention, the act has been widely criticized for endangering privacy and civil liberties, though some large technology companies (Microsoft and Facebook) favor it as a simple and effective way of sharing important cyber threat information with authorities. Read about CISPA in detail here.

  • How It Will Affect You: If CISPA becomes law, it would make it harder for cyber criminals to execute major attacks on networks. However, it may also mean that the government could also easily, and without warrant, track any individual’s browsing history. As the bill is presently worded, there are few limits on when or how the government can monitor an individual, and it may even make certain kinds of spyware legal if it is being used in good faith for a cybersecurity purpose.
  • Timeline: CISPA was introduced in late 2011 and was passed by the House of Representatives in mid-2012. While gaining early support, Obama’s advisors have argued that the bill could be a major risk to confidentiality and civil liberties and it is likely he would veto it if it passes.

CISPA-PDF (Maximize for better readability

Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights On April 12, 2011, Senators Kerry and McCain introduced the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights to establish a baseline code of conduct for how personal information can be used, stored, and distributed. The bill of rights has since been picked up by the Obama administration and adapted in a report titled “Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy.” In both instances, the bill of rights lays out principles that would work to protect personal data and to improve consumer security. It is not a piece of legislation in itself, but a guideline for building and enacting future regulations and laws that will impact tech companies and online retailers.

  • How It Will Affect You: While nothing has been passed yet, this outline could help protect your personal data from abuse by retailers and ensure that it’s not sold to a third party or in any other way compromised.
  • Timeline: First proposed in early 2011, it could be quite some time before this bill of rights is translated into any real kind of legislation, especially if there is major pushback from Congress or tech companies themselves. If companies begin to better self-regulate privacy issues, no additional legislation may be needed.

Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights PDF (Maximize for better readability)

Application Privacy, Protection, and Security Act of 2013 Congressman Hank Johnson proposed the APPS Act early this year. The act is designed to address concerns with the data collection being done through applications on mobile devices and would require that app developers provide greater transparency about their data collection practices, ensure reasonable levels of data security, and allow users to opt out of data collection or have the option to delete data that has been collected on them.

  • How It Will Affect You: The APPS Act would ensure that apps on your phone aren’t gathering, storing, or sharing information about you without your knowledge or consent. It doesn’t mean that data can’t or won’t be collected, just that consumers will have greater knowledge and potentially the ability to opt out of certain aspects of this process.
  • Timeline: The draft of the bill was released in January 2013 and is currently just a discussion draft, meaning that it hasn’t been formally introduced for passage just yet. It’s likely that discussions with app developers and consumer advocates will help to shape the final draft and it could be a couple of years before any final decisions are made on the legislation.

Application Privacy, Protection, and Security Act of 2013 PDF (Maximize for better readability)

Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011 Worried about the potential risks for stalking posed by cell phones loaded with GPS and apps that gather information about a user’s location, Senator Al Franken, along with several co-sponsors, proposed this bill to fill in loopholes in federal law that allow companies to obtain location-based information on consumers and to share that information with third parties. While some app developers have complained that this hinders location-based advertising, others agree that privacy needs to be protected and that location-based tracking should only be allowed within apps that consumers have given consent to do so.

  • How It Will Affect You: The Location Privacy Protection Act, if passed, with protect you from having mobile data on your whereabouts tracked, stored, or shared without your knowledge or consent. It would not eliminate the ability of mobile technologies to track your location but would only ensure transparency and greater security, though it may be cumbersome with some existing systems of location-based advertising.
  • Timeline: The bill has been under development since 2011 and is still being refined and tailored take into consideration the needs of all involved parties. Franken is expected to push the measure later this year and if passed the bill could see enforcement as early as 2014.

Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011 PDF (Maximize for better readability)
This is part 2 of a 4 part series. The part 1 illustrated in detail Privacy Laws related to Digital life and their effect on the same. Links to part 3 and 4, which will elaborate on effects of privacy laws on Work & Employment and Personal information will be updated soon.
Update: The part 3, which illustrates in detail Privacy Laws related to Work and Employment and their effect on the same has now been updated.
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Codero Hosting Joins Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) as a Founding Member

i2Coalition Provides a Public Policy and Advocacy Voice to Ensure the Future U.S. Growth of the $46 Billion Internet Infrastructure Industry

Codero Hosting announced that it will join the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) as a founding member. The i2Coalition comprises of the key players representing global and U.S. Internet infrastructure providers and related tech firms. The i2Coalition officially launched this week with 41 current member companies. The coalition’s inaugural video is available and highlights the chief mission and goals of the organization.

Codero has long been a pioneer in the internet infrastructure arena and has teamed up with i2Coalition to show its continued support of the organization’s goals to protect and continue Internet’s free flow of information and commerce. Alongside i2Coalition members, Codero had strongly opposed both the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect-IP Act (PIPA) in January of this year. Codero recognizes the need to protect intellectual property online. However, reasonable and well-functioning laws protecting these rights (such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act) are already in place.  As a result, SOPA and PIPA legislation are unnecessary and would unreasonably infringe on the rights of United States citizens to freely publish and access information over the internet.

The genesis of the I2Coalition began in 2011, when Codero along with many of the i2Coalition’s founding and charter members joined forces during the successful effort to prevent Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) from becoming law. After mobilizing, Codero and other companies in the industry realized the ongoing need for a strong industry voice. The i2Coalition comprises those trailblazing enterprises that make significant private investments and drive innovation for the “nuts and bolts” of the Internet – including web hosting and data center providers, registries and registrars, software and service delivery and cloud computing services.

“The free flow of information on the internet is as sacred as free speech in our society,” said Emil Sayegh, Codero President and CEO. “The i2Coalition was formed to prevent misguided legislation from taking root, and it succeeded.  Going forward, the i2Coaltion will focus on the education of our society and legislators about how the internet currently works and how only the development of modern standards can adequately protect the Internet’s free flow of information and commerce while also securing individual’s rights.”

The i2Coalition members share a common goal: to be the principle voice and leading advocate for the Internet infrastructure industry.  The coalition will facilitate public policy education and advocacy, develop market-driven standards formed by consensus and give the industry a unified voice.  Members will receive the support and tools they need to be heard in Washington and by their state and local officials across the country.  Interested parties can visit the i2Coalition site for more information about membership.

“We believe the continued expansion of the Internet is vital for fostering economic growth in the U.S.,” said Christian Dawson, i2Coalition co-founder and Board Chair.  “The i2Coalition will serve as a liaison between its members, the public they serve and policymakers to ensure that the Internet infrastructure industry continues to harness the full potential it has for creating jobs and driving innovation in the United States.”

According to a market research study by Tier1 Research, the Internet infrastructure industry generated and estimated direct and indirect $46 billion in annual revenue in 2010 with expected 20% growth by 2013, and a trade flow to the United States of $9.2 billion.  New jobs more often than not require a reliable infrastructure for the Internet, and the industry drives innovation at every level.

About Codero Hosting
Codero Hosting delivers world-class dedicated, managed, cloud and hybrid hosting solutions on-demand for businesses of all sizes worldwide. Codero integrates innovative industry-leading, fully automated IT hosting solutions with all customer service delivered by a seasoned and highly technical US-based team. This allows companies to confidently outsource their IT hosting needs while empowering them with complete control over their IT environment. Codero offers hosting from its SSAE 16 (SAS 70 Type II) data centers located across the US.  An industry innovator, Codero has the only customer loyalty Rewards Program of any major industry player, as well as attractive, and rewarding affiliate, channel, and reseller programs. Codero is backed by growth private equity firm Catalyst Investors. For more information about Codero, please visit www.codero.com or connect with Codero on Twitter and Facebook.

About i2Coalition
The Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) supports those who build the nuts and bolts of the Internet, and we treat it like the noble profession that it is. We believe the continued growth of the Internet is vital for growing an environment of innovation in America and seek to engage in ways to foster success of the Internet and Internet infrastructure industry. We seek to influence decision makers to weigh decisions on whether they are good or bad for the Internet economy and its foundational industries. In short, we seek to foster growth within the Internet infrastructure industry by driving others to harness the Internet’s full potential. To learn more about i2Coalition, visit www.i2Coalition.com.

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Infographic: The Face of Internet After Sopa and Pipa

 

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Shut down of Megaupload – Has the fight against SOPA lost its meaning?

DAILYHOSTNEWS, January 20, 2012-The fight to stop SOPA and PIPA from coming into regulation is on its peak and even before the voting for these bills took place, the US government shuts down Megaupload.com, the popular content sharing website on the charges of violating internet piracy laws.

Federal prosecutors have shut down the website, alleging copyright infringement as well as conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit racketeering charging its founders and several employees with massive copyright infringement.

The detective Inspector Grant Wormald from the Organized and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand in a statement said, “The FBI contacted New Zealand Police in early 2011 with a request to assist with their investigation into the Mega Conspiracy. All the accused have been indicted in the United States. We will continue to work with the U.S. authorities to assist with the extradition proceedings”.

An official of Justice Department (US) denied that then arrest has any relation with the anti-piracy bills in consideration by US Congress.

New Zealand police on Friday raided a mansion in Auckland and arrested Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. Three others who were arrested are the website’s chief marketing officer, Finn Batato, chief technical officer and co-founder Mathias Ortmann, and Dutch national Bram van der Kolk.

The officials seized assets of worth $NZ50 million as well as 18 domain names associated with Megaupload.

Indictment against Megaupload

According to the Justice Department of US and FBI the seven people in charge are responsible for massive worldwide online piracy of numerous types of copyrighted works, through Megaupload.com and other related sites.

The site is accused of generating more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and causing a harm of more than half a billion dollars to copyright owners.

If convicted, the maximum penalties are 20 years for conspiracy to commit racketeering and to commit money laundering and five years for each count of copyright infringement and five years for conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.

Megaupload has boasted of having more than 150 million registered users and 50 million daily visitors, according to the indictment.

Hackers reaction

Reacting to the shutdown of Megaupload.com and opposing arrest of its founders and others, the anonyms hackers attacked the public websites of the Justice Department, the world’s largest music company Universal Music, and the two big trade groups that represent the music and film industries.

“The government takes down Megaupload? 15 minutes later Anonymous takes down government & record label sites,” a member of Anonymous said via Twitter.

 

Reference: Reuters, Bangkok Post

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Campaigns against SOPA and PIPA speed up

DAILYHOSTNEWS, January 19, 2012- The massive protest against internet censorship bills SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (PROTECT Intellectual Property Act) which are being considered by Congress at City Hall in San Francisco, have gathered momentum with more and more websites, their CEO’s and users joining hands.

Wednesday was observed as the black-out day by popular internet sites like Wikipedia, Google.com, Reddit.com, Craiglist.org BoingBoing.net, WordPress.com, Techcrunch.com and about 10,000 other websites. These sites blacked out their pages and displayed messages warning people about harms of SOPA and the problems they would face if they are not able to access the information as easily as they can now.

Today, founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerburg in a post on Facebook also expressed discontent about passing of these bills.

In his words, “The internet is the most powerful tool we have for creating a more open and connected world. We can’t let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the internet’s development. Facebook opposes SOPA and PIPA, and we will continue to oppose any laws that will hurt the internet.”

As many as 450,897 people liked the post and 86,143 shared it on Facebook. The number is still growing.

According to Google, 4.5 million people signed its anti SOPA petition titled “End piracy not Liberty’. The petition states that “fighting online piracy is important and that there is no need to make American social networks, blogs and search engines censor the Internet that have enabled the Web to thrive, creating millions of U.S. jobs.”

Along with this, Google in its blog posted by David Drummond, SVP Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer talked about the harm that the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House could potentially pose to the internet.

It says that PIPA and SOPA will censor the web, will risk our industry’s track record of innovation and job creation and cannot stop piracy.

The protest does not end here only, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, recently three co-sponsors of the SOPA and PIPA also withdrew support from the bill.

Sen. Marco Rubio withdrew as a co-sponsor of the Protect IP Act in the Senate, while Reps. Lee Terry and Ben Quayle pulled their names from the companion House bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act.

In his post on Facebook, Marc Rubio said “As a senator from Florida, a state with a large presence of artists, creators and businesses connected to the creation of intellectual property, I have a strong interest in stopping online piracy that costs Florida jobs. However, we must do this while simultaneously promoting an open, dynamic Internet environment that is ripe for innovation and promotes new technologies. Congress should listen and avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences.”

 

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cPanel Shades Light on SOPA & PIPA Opposition

DAILYHOSTNEWS, January11, 2012 – Legislation currently making its way through the U.S. Congress has caused considerable controversy regarding free speech rights on the internet.

Bills intended to cut down on anti-piracy such as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) have been strongly opposed by those in the Internet community. And some of the strongest opposition has come from web hosting providers.

On Tuesday, popular web hosting control panel provider cPanel discussed why it’s opposed to the bills, signaling that it believes the legislation would have a devastating effect on the hosting industry.

“First, these bills will legally destroy the Internet’s basic organizational structures by attacking the domain name system, service providers, financial providers, and hosting providers by inhibiting their ability to generate revenue and access to advertising,” cPanel stated.

Continuing, cPanel said, “Armed with only a mere accusation of infringement, under the current vague language of these bills a U.S. Attorney can obtain a court order requiring web hosting providers, Internet service providers, financial transaction providers, advertising services, and search engine sites to block access to accused websites.”

And the negative effects don’t end there, according to the company. Other potential consequences include discouraging potential online startups, Internet free speech restrictions, going against current “safe harbor” safeguards, and more.

In addition to discussing its opposition, cPanel has gone into action, donating five thousand dollars to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an influential online rights organization.

Meanwhile, the Save Hosting Coalition, an organization representing a variety of web hosting providers against the bill has been steadfast in its opposition. Last month, the group announced it had received 300 industry executive signatures for a letter sent to U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s chairman and ranking member.

Consideration on the legislation from Congress is expected to continue when lawmakers return from their current winter recess.