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ReCISPA
April 17, 2013 12:45 AM   Subscribe

The TechNet trade association has been lobbying for CISPA, a bill the EFF describes as a “misguided cybersecurity bill that would create a gaping exception to existing privacy law while doing little to address palpable and pressing online security issues” (previously). Google's Eric Schmidt signed TechNet's letter supporting CISPA.

At present, the House Rules Committee has rejected any amendments to protect privacy, despite White House pressure for privacy protections. (more)
posted by jeffburdges (67 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
If you think about CISPA in terms of "well, what's stopping the government from requesting information from a company when there is a specific cybersecurity threat?" then you start to realize what CISPA is probably for, which is the collection and scanning of all personal data, looking for patterns, without a warrant. Enjoy living in the Panopticon, suckers. You are not protected by the Fourth Amendment when you are online.
posted by phaedon at 1:15 AM on April 17, 2013 [11 favorites]


To be fair to Google, other signees include executives from Microsoft, Cisco and F5 Networks. For Microsoft, it's about a relationship with the government. For the networking companies, there are many millions in government sales at stake, likely. Still, it is surprising that the White House is threatening a veto, when former Senator Obama helped grant immunity to telecoms for what CISPA would seem to make legal after the fact.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:26 AM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't assume that the white house is vetoing over having privacy restrictions. Their threat reads as intentionally ambiguous to me, and I suspect that they object to any congressional regulation of the intelligence agencies.
posted by empath at 2:58 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Those groups argue CISPA contains too few limits on how and when the government may monitor a private individual’s Internet browsing information.

Amusing to see the ALCU and EFF argue that information doesn't want to be free and available to the public. Maybe if everyone could copyright their browsing history and put DRM on it we wouldn't have all this government piracy of our private data.
posted by three blind mice at 3:29 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


But "the government" and "the public" are not interchangeable terms...............
posted by titus n. owl at 3:54 AM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


So the EFF says CISPA goes to the floor for a vote as early as today, with privacy amendments blocked.

Don't expect a veto. If it passes both the house and senate, reconciliation favors the influential "cybersecurity industrial complex" players, including the NSA, CIA, etc. Any president is heavily influenced by all the by all national security goons that surround him.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:02 AM on April 17, 2013


"the government" and "the public" are not interchangeable terms

Whether they are or are not is a debate that could go on for some time. Probably in a university dorm room, foreign hostel dining room, or a pub.

...and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The intention is that the government is an extension of the people. There was no other intention in the framing and structure of the American government besides a body of self-governance.

To the degree lobbying subverts that process is another debate, probably best suited for parks in Manhattan, hiking trails, and faux Parisian cafes in the shadows of financial towers.

That you see the government and the public as being de facto seperate entities means the country has a very serious problem, for self-governance was a foundational principle of the country, and all of the systems and structures should be designed around that principle.

I have no opinion on the matter at the moment, as I am not at a dorm, hostel, pub, park, trail, or cafe. However, this seems to be Yet Another representation that our system of governance continues to fail at representing the best interests of all of its citizenry, in favour of representing a vocal minority of some of its citizenry.
posted by nickrussell at 4:08 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


To be fair to Google, other signees include executives from Microsoft...

That seems more damning to me, not less.
posted by DU at 4:22 AM on April 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Amusing to see the ALCU and EFF argue that information doesn't want to be free and available to the public.

There's no understanding like deliberate misunderstanding!
posted by DU at 4:23 AM on April 17, 2013 [28 favorites]


Wow, nickrussell, that was an uncommonly large boatload of condescenscion to dump on someone who you don't even seem to disagree with.
posted by ook at 4:33 AM on April 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


Caring about CISPA? Who are you, some sophomoric college kid? Get with the program.

the program is wide-scale surveillance and datamining fyi
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:52 AM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am not American so I have nothing to say about how the government there works. However, a lot of my data will probably pass through America on its way to diverse servers. So, the Tor Project donation page can be found here, btw.
posted by sixohsix at 5:18 AM on April 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


Additionally, as a non-American my data is probably already more surveilled as it flows through American servers as constitutional protections don't actually apply to foreigners on foreign soil, afaik.
posted by sixohsix at 5:19 AM on April 17, 2013


CISPA: Picture your data, on a defense subcontractor's poorly-secured Lenovo laptop, forever.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:49 AM on April 17, 2013 [9 favorites]


nickrussell: To the degree lobbying subverts that process is another debate

Actually, I kind of feel like the subversion of government by lobbyists in order to serve entrenched power interests rather than the interests of the citizenry at large is sort of one of the most central and pertinent issues in this debate right here. I think that is kind of the whole point of the linked article to be honest, and the arguments and arguers on each side seem to divide nicely along that line. Are you sure you are talking about what you think you are?
posted by Scientist at 7:11 AM on April 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


"the government" and "the public" are not interchangeable terms

Whether they are or are not is a debate that could go on for some time.


If you want a vision of the future, imagine my eyes rolling SO HARD - forever.

I mean, really, just interchange them in a number of sentences and it falls apart pretty instantly.
posted by nTeleKy at 7:13 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Amusing to see the ALCU and EFF argue that information doesn't want to be free and available to the public.

Eponystericalannoying!
posted by yerfatma at 7:16 AM on April 17, 2013


Also, did you not sleep well last night or something? Because you're coming off as kind of pointlessly jerky and I'm sure that's not your intent. There's no need for the points you seem to be making to be served wih such a large side of patronization, so I can't help but think you must not be feeling quite right. Maybe have a snack, or a nap, or just get outside and get some sun? You sound rather out of sorts and I can't imagine that feels good.
posted by Scientist at 7:17 AM on April 17, 2013


To be fair to Google...

We don't do that around here.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:33 AM on April 17, 2013


The only way laws get passed is with money.

Lawmakers dont care about the public's feelings on the subject, nor do they fear any lasting backlash.
They care about:
#1: which side will give them the most money to run for office again
#2: which side will spend the most money to help the get reelected
#3: which side will spend the more money to help defeat them
#4: a primary election opponent
Period.
These are observations from over a decade in DC.

If you would like to argue the opposite, first go research just how much money is thrown at lawmakers, and realize that buying votes is easy, cheap, and commonplace for those with money.
posted by photodegas at 7:35 AM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't assume that the white house is vetoing over having privacy restrictions. Their threat reads as intentionally ambiguous to me, and I suspect that they object to any congressional regulation of the intelligence agencies.

I have assumed that the White House is responding to the groundswell of public resistance to the bill. More than any other organ of government, the President has to monitor and manage changes in public opinion.

I don't think the White House actually cares about these privacy concerns -- probably they want them to go away. They would prefer this to pass into law but are using the veto threat to manage public perception of the law. If they signal their opposition to some version of the bill, and then accept a later version because of cosmetic "privacy fixes," they can draw the sting from some of the populist opposition. Many people forwarding "Stop CISPA" emails will probably be happy to feel that Obama has taken their point of view on board and that they don't have to worry anymore.
posted by grobstein at 7:37 AM on April 17, 2013


Amusing to see the ALCU and EFF argue that information doesn't want to be free and available to the public. Maybe if everyone could copyright their browsing history and put DRM on it we wouldn't have all this government piracy of our private data.

Information wants to be free is a statement of fact not a desire by the ALCU or EFF for all information to be available all the time. That fact is why we need laws regulating government use of privately held data; to counteract the easy distribution of digital data.

Also the data being targeted isn't owned by the users; it's the data that companies own. You can't DRM the data because you don't own it or for that matter even have control of it.
posted by Mitheral at 7:39 AM on April 17, 2013


Information wants to be free is a statement of fact

Oh bullshit, information doesn't want to be anything. If anything it's a misquoted aphorism typically used by piracy fanboys to justify their moral failings and general ineptitude.

Information wants to be anthropomorphized!
posted by foot at 8:21 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh bullshit, information doesn't want to be anything

Of course not. Neither does water want to get into the boat, nor air to get out of the balloon. Would you be happier if the principle were stated as "two can keep a secret if one's dead?"
posted by tyllwin at 8:32 AM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


The best way to remain a free society is through institutional transparency and personal privacy. This bill, or a bastardization of it, will be introduced every year until people are too worn out to continue to fight it. The same thing happens with almost every modern publicly-funded stadium. The fact that we will have to fight this bill and similar bills EVERY YEAR for the foreseeable future is a testament to the fact that the system is responsive only to the continued growth of its own power.
posted by antonymous at 8:32 AM on April 17, 2013 [3 favorites]


Google's Eric Schmidt signed TechNet's letter supporting CISPA

I wonder if this has anything to do with their current lobbying in Washington to get more cheap H-1B labor through the door. I'm sure they're tired of negotiating stock options with special snowflake engineers who all quit to form their own startup within a couple of years.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:50 AM on April 17, 2013


"Information Wants To Be Free. Information also wants to be expensive. ... That tension will not go away."

All information will become free eventually, given that marginal costs should eventually converge to fixed costs, but eventually means human lifetimes here.

At present, information freedom itself isn't so much the issue as the order in which information becomes free.

If all representatives and appointees personal finances, interactions with lobbyists, etc. become public record today, we'd make enormous progress towards pressing matters like global warming, ending the drug war, etc.

If otoh all activists' personal information gets bought by agencies currently focussed on political repression, like the DOJ, FBI, etc., then they'll exploit that information to derail activism, meaning we make less progress on society's problems. Yes, the NSA already has these activists data, but they avoid sharing so much with the lower tier thugs at the DOJ, FBI, etc.

I've personally witnessed Eric Schmidt claim that Google wallet should help with ending dictatorships, etc. by providing Google with details about their personal finances. I'd buy that holds eventually, but right now he's asking that congress legalize Google selling the FBI the email account data of protestos organizers. And right now dictators and kleptocrats obviously do not move their cash hoards through credit card transactions.

I'm sure Schmidt has convinced himself that transparency and privacy are opponents, well maybe it makes him feel better about himself imagining that, but it's completely false for anyone living now.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:12 AM on April 17, 2013 [2 favorites]


That seems more damning to me, not less.

I meant fair in an ironic sense, in that Eric Schmidt, as creepy as he and his buddies are, are not the only guilty parties. Google execs talk a good game about privacy and doing no evil etc., but where it matters, when it comes to maintaining a good business relationship with the government, they'll sell you up the river, just like Microsoft, Cisco and F5 Networks will.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:32 AM on April 17, 2013




The intention is that the government is an extension of the people.

Yes, well, that is an intention which has never been realized, and is in fact somewhat better realized now than it was at the initiation of the project. We have a long way to go, and pretending that we have already arrived there, or that we were ever there in the first place, does not help us actually make progress toward getting there.
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:39 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, well, that is an intention which has never been realized, and is in fact somewhat better realized now than it was at the initiation of the project

Working in DC, I can tell you that the idea that the government is an extension of the people, is not true. One need only look at the hoards of cash being thrown at lawmakers to ensure that actual flesh and blood voters never get their say.
posted by photodegas at 11:28 AM on April 17, 2013


*sigh* Internet privacy has never really been a thing, and I think ending that illusion is a positive so people know to be careful.
posted by LukeLockhart at 1:36 PM on April 17, 2013


House passes CISPA bill Today might be a good day to contact your senators.
posted by pleurodirous at 10:38 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Amusing thought : Stir up the right-wing over the idea that CISPA legalizes the IRS reading everyone's email. It's plausible.

There are several like Redstate that already noticed CISPA, but the IRS issue might gain wider appeal. One could start off complaining about Democrats like Ruppersberger only to lay into individual Republican and Democrat cosponsors alike, especially Rogers.

Oh Look, Rep. Mike Rogers Wife Stands To Benefit Greatly From CISPA Passing.

11 Democrats Co-Sponsor CISPA Following Visit from IBM

CISPA's 36 New Co-Sponsors Raised $7M From Pro-CISPA Interests
posted by jeffburdges at 11:02 AM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]






In other news: STOCK fraud? Reporters miss a chance to expose Congress’s weak rationale for an ethics rule rollback

They'll pass CISPA while rolling back STOCK. Of course.
posted by homunculus at 6:43 PM on April 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


The whitehouse.gov petition to stop CISPA is weirdly weasel-worded. I expect the response will be equally full of weasel.
posted by ook at 4:53 AM on April 19, 2013


The whitehouse.gov petition to stop CISPA is weirdly weasel-worded

Yeah. Kinda makes me wonder who "T.B. from New York" is.
posted by grobstein at 6:00 AM on April 19, 2013




Guess it's time to hope Obama follows through with the veto.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:38 PM on April 21, 2013


MeTa.
posted by homunculus at 12:22 AM on April 22, 2013






Thinksquad: CISPA
posted by homunculus at 8:35 PM on April 22, 2013 [1 favorite]






CISPA supposedly doing poorly in Senate
(Remember they bought off numerous Democrat cosponsors this time around though)
posted by jeffburdges at 6:17 AM on April 26, 2013








Anonymous Calls For Internet Blackout On April 22 To Protest CISPA

8 Things That Anonymous, The Hacker 'Terrorist' Group, Has Done For Good
posted by homunculus at 2:19 PM on April 27, 2013




"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
posted by grobstein at 1:15 PM on April 29, 2013




DOJ helped AT&T, etc. avoid Wiretap Act, promised not to charge them For Spin

Has OLC Written Memos Authorizing Illegal Wiretapping Again?
posted by homunculus at 8:20 PM on April 29, 2013






CISPA related SMBC
posted by jeffburdges at 9:13 AM on May 1, 2013




FBI Pursuing Real-Time Gmail Spying Powers as “Top Priority” for 2013
Boy, they are so jealous that the NSA gets all the smart people and fun toys.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:26 AM on May 2, 2013






That only fixes some of the worst abuses of the DMCA.
posted by Mitheral at 1:38 PM on May 10, 2013




So if the MPAA wins can I just file a takedown notice on everything they post anywhere without fear of reprisal?
posted by Mitheral at 5:09 PM on May 13, 2013




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