Total surveillance of the people is what Congress ultimately wants, so it is no surprise that this is apparently a top legislative priority for them — even at a time when 1 out of every 2 recent college graduates face unemployment. Even at a time when our total public debt is above $15 trillion.
How bad is CISPA in its current form? Here’s some analysis from Techdirt: “Up until this afternoon, the final vote on CISPA was supposed to be tomorrow. Then, abruptly, it was moved up today—and the House voted in favor of its passage with a vote of 248-168. But that’s not even the worst part. [...] Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for ‘cybersecurity’ or ‘national security’ purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.”
Let me put this into perspective for you:
- If the government suspects you are a genuine “bad guy,” like a cyberterrorist, human trafficker, drug kingpin, etc… they can already seize all of this online activity information about you. It’s called obtaining a warrant. CISPA does away with that. It supercedes ALL existing federal privacy laws. As Techdirt’s Leigh Beadon put it, “Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government’s power.”
The US House of Representatives has just passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA (HR 3523) by a vote of 248 to 168. The bill passed mostly along party lines, backed by House Republicans. While the bill is intended to safeguard the US against “cyber threats,” critics say that it is too vague and broad, and would give government and military intelligence agencies the ability to inspect private data without the use of warrants. While the bill hasn’t garnered the same level of outrage as SOPA did in recent months from companies like Google or Facebook (Facebook supports CISPA), web advocates have been vocal in their opposition to the bill.
The Obama administration has already strongly opposed CISPA and threatened to veto it, so it’s not likely that this particular version of the bill will pass. The White House says that the bill lacks civilian oversight and privacy protections, and that “without clear legal protections and independent oversight, information sharing legislation will undermine the public’s trust in the government as well as in the internet by undermining fundamental privacy, confidentiality, civil liberties, and consumer protections.” Still, the White House has signaled that it is interested in some form of cyber security bill, so this won’t likely be its final act.
Occupy Wall Street has been told that Obama plans to veto this bill if it goes before him, so that’s good. But who are these 248 representatives passing this bill? The people have already spoken on this bill. The only thing I can think of is that they are obligated to because their lobbyists and Hollywood has financially been treating them too well. I can’t wait for things to change in the future when people wise up and get these scum, who can be bought, out of office.
President Barack Obama has announced fresh sanctions against Iran, Syria and those who help them use technology to perpetrate human rights abuses.
The executive order creates sanctions against the government of Syria and Iran “and those who abet them, for using technologies to monitor, target and track its citizens for violence”.
“These technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to repress them,” said Mr Obama.
And yet we have CISPA.
What about the citizens of the US? Will we be taking sanctions against the companies and organizations that track and monitor us? Against those that provide the tools and technologies to do so?
More to the point: Will the US government sanction itself?
The open internet group EFF has warned that CISPA’s broad wording could class many routine internet activities, such as using encryption on emails or enabling anonymity using a service called TOR, as potential threats.
“Any existing legal protections of user privacy will be usurped by CISPA,” the EFF claims. “The bill clearly states that the information may be shared ‘notwithstanding any other provision of law.’”
CISPA could allow any private company to share vast amounts of sensitive, private data about its customers with the government.
CISPA would override all other federal and state privacy laws, and allow a private company to share nearly anything—from the contents of private emails and Internet browsing history to medical, educational and financial records—as long as it “directly pertains to” a “cyber threat,” which is broadly defined.
CISPA does not require that data shared with the government be stripped of unnecessary personally-identifiable information. A private company may choose to anonymize the data it shares with the government. However, there is no requirement that it does so—even when personally-identifiable information is unnecessary for cybersecurity measures. For example, emails could be shared with the full names of their authors and recipients. A company could decide to leave the names of its customers in the data it shares with the government merely because it does not want to incur the expense of deleting them. This is contrary to the recommendations of the House Republican Cybersecurity Task Force and other bills to authorize information sharing, which require companies to make a reasonable effort to minimize the sharing of personally-identifiable information.
CISPA would allow the government to use collected private information for reasons other than cybersecurity. The government could use any information it receives for “any lawful purpose” besides “regulatory purposes,” so long as the same use can also be justified by cybersecurity or the protection of national security. This would provide no meaningful limit—a government official could easily create a connection to “national security” to justify nearly any type of investigation.
CISPA would give Internet Service Providers free rein to monitor the private communications and activities of users on their networks. ISPs would have wide latitude to do anything that can be construed as part of a “cybersecurity system,” regardless of any other privacy or telecommunications law.
CISPA would empower the military and the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect information about domestic Internet users. Other information sharing bills would direct private information from domestic sources to civilian agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security. CISPA contains no such limitation. Instead, the Department of Defense and the NSA could solicit and receive information directly from American companies, about users and systems inside the United States.
CISPA places too much faith in private companies, to safeguard their most sensitive customer data from government intrusion. While information sharing would be voluntary under CISPA, the government has a variety of ways to pressure private companies to share large volumes of customer information. With complete legal immunity, private companies have few clear incentives to resist such pressure. There is also no requirement that companies ever tell their customers what they have shared with the government, either before or after the fact. As informed consumers, Americans expect technology companies to have clear privacy policies, telling us exactly how and when the company will use and share our personal data, so that we can make informed choices about which companies have earned our trust and deserve our business.
Just because SOPA and PIPA, the infamous internet “kill switch” bills, are largely dead does not mean the threat to internet free speech has become any less serious. TheCyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act(CISPA), also known as H.R. 3523, is the latest mutation of these internet censorship and spying bills to hit the U.S. Congress — and unless the American people speak up now to stop it, CISPA could lead to far worse repercussions for online free speech than SOPA or PIPA ever would have.
CNET, the popular technology news website that was among many others who spoke up against SOPA and PIPA earlier in the year, including Occupy Wall Street, is also one of many now sounding the alarm about CISPA, which was authored by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.). Though the bill’s promoters are marketing it as being nothing like SOPA or PIPA, CISPA is exactly like those bills, except worse.
What CISPA will do, if passed, is remove all the legal barriers that currently stop internet service providers, government agencies, and others from arbitrarily spying on internet users. In the name of “cybersecurity,” a term that is undefined in the bill, CISPA will essentially allow internet users to be surveilled by the government without probable cause or a search warrant, which is a clear violation of users’ constitutional civil liberties.
Additionally, it will allow websites like Google, Facebook, and Twitter to intercept emails, text messages, and other private information that might be considered a threat to “cybersecurity.” The government can then demand access to this information, even if it has nothing to do with copyright infringement, which is one of the excuses being used for why such a bill is needed in the first place.
Here’s their next move: The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, would obliterate any semblance of online privacy in the United States. It’s up for a vote later this month.
CISPA demolishes existing barriers between the government and the private sector — and between government agencies — that restrict data sharing without cause, effectively allowing information about Americans’ use of the Internet to slosh back and forth uninhibited.
The Center for Democracy and Technology says, “CISPA has a very broad, almost unlimited definition of the information that can be shared with government agencies and it supersedes all other privacy laws.
Occupy Wall Street says we must do all we can to protect the internet. Stop CISPA now while you still can.
Can you believe this? After the largest online protest in history, the Obama administration is still voicing support for SOPA.
Tell Obama to promise: “I will never advance legislation that blocks websites or disconnects Americans’ internet access.”
Just the other day, the administration sent a letter to Congress to demonstrate their support for new internet censorship legislation. Victoria Espinel, Obama’s so-called “copyright czar” just said: “We still need legislation for blocking foreign websites.” You can read the full statement here.
As we noted when one of the recent cybersecurity bills was introduced in the Senate, it was accompanied by a press release that explicitly stated that this bill wasn’t SOPA. While the entertainment industry keeps hoping that the anti-SOPA protests were a one-time experience, apparently the power of internet users is very much on the minds of nearly everyone on Capitol Hill who have turned the phrase “don’t get SOPA’d” into a new mantra.
This is excellent news in a number of ways. Congress should fear backlash from going against the will of the people, especially in mucking around with some of the key tools they use to communicate every day. The only issue I take with the article is that it rehashes the false dichotomy that SOPA was “Silicon Valley vs. Hollywood,” and quotes lots of people who continue to talk about how the way to avoid “getting SOPA’d” is to talk to the tech industry, but not to internet users themselves. Now, I think that talking to the tech industry is a good place to start, and it is an important stakeholder in understanding the internet, but what drove the SOPA protests was the users. Yes, tech companies helped get their users interested in the topic, but once the users on Tumblr, Reddit and Wikipedia took over, they were the ones driving the bus. The companies themselves took a backseat and, at times, were pressured into going along with what the users wanted, against their own concerns (for example, the date of the January 18th protests, which many “industry insiders” thought was too early, since the Senate wasn’t yet in session).
This is great news! Good job Occupy Wall Street and everyone that made the Government afraid of attempting to pass evil bills like SOPA.
Anonymous and the Occupy Movement have joined forces to defeat congressional supporters of SOPA, PIPA, and NDAA this November.
Anonymous announced today a joint campaign with the Occupy Wall Street Movement called “Our Polls,” which targets members of Congress who supported a variety of bills these groups find particularly offensive. Namely: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The groups call on voters to remove all those who supported these bills from office on November 6, election day.
The primary message of the Our Polls effort is that Washington is corrupted by money, and that the politicians who were elected to represent us worry more about the thickness of their wallets than the lives of their constituents.
Cybersecurity Act of 2012 Introduced
On February 14, a bipartisan group of senators introduced to the U.S. Senate the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, under which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would assess the risks and vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure systems and develop security performance requirements for the systems and assets designated as covered critical infrastructure. The bill is sponsored by Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT), committee ranking member Susan Collins (R-ME), Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and Select Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). As explained in the statement announcing the measure, “[t]he bill envisions a public-private partnership to secure those systems, which, if commandeered or destroyed by a cyber attack, could cause mass deaths, evacuations, disruptions to life-sustaining services, or catastrophic damage to the economy or national security.”
GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has a freedom problem. He says there is too much freedom on the Internet and it should be regulated. He was the only candidate that did not take a strong stand against SOPA and PIPA and called for regulating the Internet and said freedom should be limited. He called those that want limited government “radical individualism”. Rick Santorum is no conservative. Don’t be fooled by this authoritarian masquerading as a conservative.
“They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues.
That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society that I’m aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”
Lamar Smith, author of SOPA, has been a congressman “representing” Texas District 21 since 1987. However, his recent tyrannical actions deserve nothing short of impeachment. In the first installment of Truth Exposed Radio’s “Stop 1984 in 2012 Campaign”, Operation: Impeach Lamar Smith is launched.
The Stop 1984 in 2012 Campaign is an offensive action in the infowar to awaken the mass public to the police state being fully actuated in the year 2012 while also moving to replace the fraudulent politicians who are enabling it. The campaign is attempting to bring together thousands from the Reddit community to expand the blackout protest on the internet onto the streets of every American city.
According to ProPublica.org : The entertainment industry made $5,579,819 in contributions to US Senators, with an average contribution of $55,798. The $88,900 I took from them is $33,102 more than the average senator.
(there are some suggested tweets below too!)
Hi. My name is Al Franken. I am a Senator from Minnesota. A proposed bill in the Senate, PIPA, threatens to treat the concept of free speech in much the same way that totalitarian regimes in China, Iran and North Korea do. This bill is why so many internet sites have ‘gone black’ in protest. It was written for lobbyists to place corporate greed over the fundamental freedoms our nation was founded on, and I support it.
Lamar Smith, the chief sponsor of SOPA, said on Friday that he is pulling the bill “until there is wider agreement on a solution.”
“I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy,” Smith (R-Texas) said. “It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.”
Smith also released the following statement on Friday:
“We need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products. “The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore. American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60% of U.S. exports. The theft of America’s intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs. Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while American innovators and job creators are under attack.”
Personally Occupy Wall Street and myself think Lamar Smith is a piece of sh*t who has deep pockets for special interests. It’s disgusting who would actually vote this guy into office again.