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Thursday, October 27, 2016

The House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2013 (CISPA) by a vote of 288-127, a nearly veto-proof majority. It now heads to the Senate, where it died last year.

President Obama has threatened to veto the bill in its current form.

Why are the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and more than 70 civil liberties advocates so worried about the bill?

ZDNet‘s Zach Whittaker explains:

For those out of the loop, CISPA will allow private sector firms to search personal and sensitive user data of ordinary U.S. residents to identify this so-called “threat information,” and to then share that information with each other and the U.S. government — without the need for a court-ordered warrant.

An amendment would have allowed companies to keep to the terms of its terms and conditions. It was defeated by a unanimous vote of Republicans in the House Rules Committee. If the bill becomes law, companies will be able to share private customer information with impunity.

The EFF’s Mark Jaycox breaks down the implications of the government having unfettered access to the private information of the millions of Americans who communicate online:

Information provided to the federal government under CISPA would be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other state laws that could otherwise require disclosure (unless some law other than CISPA already requires its provision to the government).

CISPA’s authors argue that the bill contains limitations on how the federal government can use and disclose information by permitting lawsuits against the government. But if a company sends information about a user that is not cyberthreat information, the government agency does not notify the user, only the company.

Mike Rogers (R-MI), the sponsor of the bill, claimed that the only people who objected to allowing government unlimited access to our digital lives are “14-year-old tweeters.” It turns out that Rogers’ wife may have a very compelling interest in passing CISPA.

According to TechDirt‘s Mike Masnick:

Of course, as we’ve noted all along, all attempts at cybersecurity legislation have always been about money. Mainly, money to big defense contractors aiming to provide the government with lots of very expensive ‘solutions’ to the cybersecurity ‘problem’ — a problem that still has not been adequately defined beyond fake scare stories. Just last month, Rogers accidentally tweeted (and then deleted) a story about how CISPA supporters, like himself, had received 15 times more money from pro-CISPA groups than the opposition had received from anti-CISPA groups.

So it seems rather interesting to note that Rogers’ wife, Kristi Clemens Rogers, was, until recently, the president and CEO of Aegis LLC, a ‘security’ defense contractor company, whom she helped to secure a $10 billion (with a b) contract with the State Department. The company describes itself as ‘a leading private security company, provid[ing] government and corporate clients with a full spectrum of intelligence-led, culturally-sensitive security solutions to operational and development challenges around the world.’

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • John Pigg

    The GOP seems absolutely dedicated to losing the youth vote. Even conservative youths care about internet privacy. Yet one more issue the Libertarian Party can use to steal youth votes from the GOP. Perhaps the Libertarian Party will play the spoiler in even more elections.

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    The Internet has NO privacy. It never did

    Once your name, your photo, any personal information gets out on the net, forget it. It will be there forever. And, anyone with a knack for technology can find it.

    Nothing is private, every bit and byte that goes through your provider that you send out from your computer can be tracked and monitored 24 hours a day.

    You can Encrypt your information using up to a 128 bit encryption program. Above 128 Bit program and you’re illegal.

    All Computers are automatically built with a backdoor” capable of be used by any regular legal search (usually in secret) by the law establishment. You really have NO secrets.

    All this law does is legalize Corporations to do it along with the Government.

    It used to be even a few years ago, you could search on the web for anything, and you could find it. Not anymore, many search engines now “filter” out keywords so you can’t find what you’re looking for, or it notifies you in big words – Illegal Search, or it redirects you to a more user “friendly” site. Many of your providers news groups are censored. Even from Foreign websites. Yes, the US is even messing with foreign country’s websites. And, they are agreeing to do it.

    Also, maybe websites put cookies in your computer and put information in your Registry you don’t know about. The best anti-spam program will not block registry entries. I clean mine out once a week and usually find a few hundred that don’t belong there.

    In short, we’re all SCREWED!

    • tobyspeeks

      Where do you live? What search engine notifies you in big words – illegal search?

  • A business segment that goes as far as rejecting the expnsion of an existing law to limit the probability of criminal elements and mentally disturbed individuals from having access to lethal weapons and carrying out crimes is no different from the Mafia and all the other criminal organizations that murder and abuse innocent members of society.
    Not only did they make a mockery of the Second Amendment by championing an UNREGULATED militia, they undermined one of the most popular justifications for having arsenals in our homes: the need the defend ourselves from criminals intent on harming us.
    Their objective has absolutely nothing to do with defending the Constitution – they violated it – it is all about gun sales and embarrassing President Obama.
    I think it is worth remembering that the original goal was to ban assault weapons and getting high capacity magazines off the streets of America. That’s not even a topic of conversation anymore, and was never put for a vote in Congress. The only thing that survived the latest attempt to restore sanity was the expansion of an existing law, and even that was rejected for reasons that only our elected officials can explain. It is also worth considering that what 90% of Americans support is not stricter gun control, with certain weapons banned, but the expansion of an existing law. The arms industry and the NRA remain in control of the U.S. government and public opinion, and they probably will continue to enjoy the support of most Americans for many years to come. Gun control is dead: RIP.

    • InsideEye

      The Bill is flawed in that Mentally challenged are not on
      the Reportable List to agencies, these unfortunates have caused all of the
      mayhem thus far. BUT due to politically correct laws, we are not able to share
      these names. This is a plainly a 2nd Amendment issue but the press plays it up
      as a political issue. Background checks should be done at every purchase and if
      you pass, that is it , until the next purchase or exchange. Gun registration shold not be allowed, and all privace respected…..FAcebook is n ot privacy…there are personal controls but they are violated as are alll internet sites that use yhou rinformation and sell it …All laws are good if there are consequences for non- Compliance….however….there are too many loop holes, respectfully submitted.

      • july860

        I have worked in the mental health field for 30 years. The confidentiality (HIPPA) is a double-edged sword. It is meant to protect an individual’s private medical information (mental health included). However, this does put practioners in a untenable situation-when to report, will I break confidentialty? There are certain circumstances in which information can be shared with law enforcement and other mental health deligates (clear and present danger to self or others-where a direct threat has been made). This may still have been difficult for background checks, as someone may not present as a “clear and present danger”, at that time and therefore could perhaps purchase a firearm.

        • Ron Kadi

          HealthCare HIPPA familiar also, records can be seen for any Medical reason, however younger students records seem not be readily available to school staff to pass it on to authorities Iin timely manner. This should be universally available to protect the general public health as in other reportable
          Communicable disease reporting to state agencies.

  • The same people that upheld the right of criminals and mentally ill Americans to putchase lethal weapons, are now determined to undermine our right to privacy. Whose interests are these thugs defending? Certainly, those of the average American.

  • this law is yet another reason we should never trust our own corrupt government, this law needs to bite the big one..NO NO

  • what if we tricked the NRA into thinking CISPA was a government plan to make a registry of every firearm bought on the internet? maybe we could use those nut jobs for good?