April 25, 2012, 2:19 PM — You know how you can tell Congress is about to vote on a cybersecurity bill that restricts civil rights, contradicts the open-Internet mantra preached to authoritarian regimes and gives federal law enforcement more power than the Internet Gods themselves?
Anonymous suddenly becomes a lot more threatening.
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which critics call a more abusive version of the SOPA bill that was shouted off Capitol Hill earlier this year, comes up for debate in the House Thursday and goes to a vote late Thursday or Friday.
It has a good chance of passing the House, though it will face a fight in the Senate, according to those who follow such things.
Its chances get better if people are too worried about being hacked to get really up in arms about a bill so off target that both security specialists and civil-rights defenders hate for legalizing cyberspying and the subversion of the Bill of Rights.
What scares voters into staying away in droves from the Internet sites that led the rebellion against SOPA?
It may or may not be a coincidence that the vote is in the week security vendor Bit9 chose to publish a survey warning about the danger of Anonymous and other hacktivists (packaged as a convenient infographic digestible by the non-technical).
According to a survey of 1,800 IT security people, Bit9, reports, Anonymous is the leading threat on the Internet.
It's not, of course. At least not any more than it was a week ago, or a month.