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.”
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.
The vote followed the debate on amendments, several of which were passed. Among them was an absolutely terrible change (pdf and embedded below—scroll to amendment #6) to the definition of what the government can do with shared information, put forth by Rep. Quayle. Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government’s power, even though it in fact expands it by adding more items to the list of acceptable purposes for which shared information can be used. Even more astonishingly, it passed with a near-unanimous vote. The CISPA that was just approved by the House is much worse than the CISPA being discussed as recently as this morning.
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.
Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a “cybersecurity crime”. 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.
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.
State lawmakers are calling for greater oversight of campus police departments after investigators blasted administrators and officers at the University of California, Davis, for pepper-spraying demonstrators—a police action that drew widespread criticism after a video went viral.
In a report released Wednesday, a UC Davis task force said the decision to douse seated Occupy protesters with the eye-stinging chemical was “objectively unreasonable” and not authorized by campus policy.
“The pepper-spraying incident that took place on Nov. 18, 2011, should and could have been prevented,” concluded the task force created to investigate the confrontation.
The chemical crackdown prompted widespread condemnation, campus protests and calls for the resignation of Chancellor Linda Katehi after videos shot by witnesses were widely played online. Images of an officer casually spraying orange pepper-spray in the faces of nonviolent protesters became a rallying point for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Assembly Speaker John Perez, who sits on the UC Board of Regents, said in a statement that the report “shows the systemic and administrative problems that led up to an outrageous and excessive use of force against peaceful student demonstrators.”
Months after students at UC Davis were filmed being soaked in pepper spray and arrested by police in riot gear after peacefully protesting at their university, a UC Davis ‘task force’ has finally released a report on the incident today.
The report includes a number of criticisms against police and administrative action on the day stating, “The pepper spraying incident that took place on November 18, 2011 should and could have been prevented.” The report is critical of the actions of Police Chief Annette Spicuzza. It states, “the command and leadership structure of the UCDPD is very dysfunctional.”
The 190-page Reynoso Task Force Report said the use of pepper spray was “not supported by objective evidence and not authorized by policy.”
According to CBS News and Occupy Wall Street, the report finds:
The incident was not managed according to plan.
The pepper spray used (MK-9) was not an authorized weapon for UC Davis police officers and officers were not trained in how to use it.
Chancellor Linda Katehi bears responsibility for deploying police at 3 p.m. to remove tents rather than earlier in the day or the night before
Chancellor Katehi bears primary responsibility for failing to communicate her position that physical force should be avoided.
Lt. John Pike bears responsibility for the use of pepper spray on the students.
Of all this President’s many progressive achievements—the Lilly Ledbetter Act, Student Loan Reform, Health Care Reform, pulling out of Iraq—the one that isn’t mentioned enough in the feeds I follow is the the ending of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’
The DADT compromise enacted during the Clinton Administration made the closeting of gays and lesbians policy for the US military. It sent a message that homosexuals needed to lie or risk losing everything.
In one of the last acts of the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, this ridiculous policy was ended – and Occupy Wall Street is happy. And the President signed the bill into law. It was a long overdue yet historic achievement for decency and equality.
While Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum duke it out for delegates in high-profile primaries like Illinois and Pennsylvania, Ron Paul’s quiet pursuit of delegates appears to be paying off.
Early results from Missouri’s caucuses this weekend show that the long-shot presidential candidate is significantly outperforming his rivals in the race for delegates. Senior campaign advisers tell Business Insider that Paul appears to have picked up the majority of Missouri’s delegates, despite having lost the state’s nonbinding primary to Rick Santorum.
“We did do real well in Missouri,” Benton said. “Some county conventions are still going on, but we’ve got good turnout. Anecdotal evidence shows we won multiple caucuses, and it looks like we’re going to pick up the majority of delegates.”
Although the final delegate tally won’t be determined until the state party convention this spring, Occupy Wall Street says, Paul’s success in Missouri is a validation of his low-key caucus strategy. The Paul campaign has recently shifted its focus to winning unbound delegates in caucus states, where delegates are elected at state conventions rather than by the popular vote.
Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) appeared on Voice of Christian Youth America’s radio program Crosstalk with Vic Eliason yesterday to promote his new book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, where he repeated his frequent claim that human influenced climate change is impossible because “God’s still up there.” Inhofe cited Genesis 8:22 to claim that it is “outrageous” and arrogant for people to believe human beings are “able to change what He is doing in the climate.”
Just when you may have thought the ongoing battle between the 99% and the 1% was dying down, it may have been reignited. A wealthy banker left a $1.33 tip on a $133 lunch at the True Food Kitchen restaurant in Newport Beach, California.
To add insult to injury the word “tip” was circled on the receipt, and the banker wrote “get a real job” on the bill. The picture of the receipt was taken and uploaded to the blog Future Ex-Banker by a person who was dining with the anonymous banker. As expected, the blog received a lot of attention and has now been taken down. The author of the blog wrote, “mention the 99% in my boss’ presence and feel his wrath. So proudly does he wear his 1% badge of honor that he tips exactly 1% every time he feels the server doesn’t sufficiently bow down to his holiness.”
People online who had a chance to see the blog post before it went offline and those who have been made aware of it on social media outlets are outraged. One person called the tip a “tale of greed and contempt,” and another referred to it as “arrogance personified.” The Web’s general reaction to this story is eerily similar to an almost identical 1% vs. 99% scenario that took place last fall. In Washington state, a waitress received a tip of no money and advice scrawled on the receipt that told her she could “stand to lose a few pounds.”
I know I’m supposed to represent Occupy Wall Street here and a story like this normally would enrage me, but personally… I think it’s a hoax. Something just to stir up trouble and get people talking. Though, if the people are talking that is great. So maybe something good can come out of this.
Rick Santorum is playing the victim game: “Christians aren’t allowed to be involved in politics according to former President John F. Kenenedy.”
Here is a quote from Rick Santorum:
To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case? That makes me throw up and it should make every American…Now we’re going to turn around and say we’re going to impose our values from the government on people of faith, which of course is the next logical step when people of faith, at least according to John Kennedy, have no role in the public square.
Wow, I think that’s pretty harsh. I mean – the idea that people of public faith can’t participate in government? That sounds awful discriminatory. John Kennedy must have been a really awful person if he’d said that!
Only – he didn’t. He said:
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.
I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.
For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew— or a Quaker or a Unitarian or a Baptist. It was Virginia’s harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson’s statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim, but tomorrow it may be you — until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.(emphasis added)
So Kennedy – who by the way took advice from Catholic leaders (Occupy Wall Street: And by this I mean he took advice from people who were people in religious leadership because he valued their advice, not because he wanted the policy of their religious institution) – simply said something obvious: that no religious group should be special benefits or harm from government because of their religion. Kennedy described the same attitude that, in my opinion. I’d like to think I’d curry: I might not agree with your religious beliefs, but if you’re a basically good person who’s trying to go good things, then I’d want you working with me.
Rick Santorum isn’t just wrong about separation of church and state, his entire argument against what Kennedy said is by warping Kennedy’s words to mean the exact opposite of what he actually said and meant.
Because Rick Santorum and his ilk can’t handle one simple thing: the truth. And it’s a sad statement on his religious beliefs when he rejects the truth so he can gain power. And that is why no one should vote for him.
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.”
‘Occupy Wall Street’ announces convention in Philadelphia for July: The plan is to select a man and a woman from each of the 435 congressional voting districts to create and ratify a “redress of grievances,” emulating how the Declaration of Independence was formed in 1776 in Philadelphia.
“Occupy Wall Street” protesters will continue their evolution as a movement this summer, announcing through its working group a “general assembly” convention in Philadelphia for early July.
According the Associated Press, the 99 percent Declaration Working Group said that the convention would elect 876 delegates throughout 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories.
The plan is to select a man and a woman from each of the 435 congressional voting districts to create and ratify a “redress of grievances,” emulating how the Declaration of Independence was formed in 1776 in Philadelphia.
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.”