IBM Sends 200 Execs To Capitol Hill To Demand The Right To Send Your Private Info To The NSA

from the nice-one,-guys dept

We've talked about various tech companies supporting CISPA, which is really shameful and short-sighted. Yes, it protects them from liability if they trample all over your privacy and provide your private info to the government -- which is why they support it. But if they were truly customer focused companies, they would know that violating your privacy is no way to build a loyal customer base. And, apparently, the right to violate your privacy and hand that info to the government is so important to IBM that it has sent 200 executives to Capital Hill today to lobby in favor of passing CISPA. CISPA is expected to go to a floor vote in the House either this Wednesday or Thursday.
Nearly 200 senior IBM executives are flying into Washington to press for the passage of a controversial cybersecurity bill that will come up for a vote in the House this week.

The IBM executives will pound the pavement on Capitol Hill Monday and Tuesday, holding nearly 300 meetings with lawmakers and staff. Over the course of those two days, their mission is to convince lawmakers to back a bill that’s intended to make it easier for industry and government to share information about cyber threats with each other in real time.
What they still can't explain is what laws currently get in the way of this information sharing? We've been asking for years and no one has answered. Everyone agrees that information sharing around an attack can be useful in stopping it, but no one has explained why that information sharing (a) requires a new law or (b) can't be done without wiping out all basic privacy protections for personal info currently provided under existing law.

Even more ridiculous is that IBM flat out admits that they want to be able to send your info to the NSA. We've pointed out for a while that one of the major concerns with CISPA is that the NSA -- a military agency -- would get access to your info, despite the general prohibition on spying on Americans. Of course, the NSA has twisted that mandate ridiculously, such that it believes it can now spy on anything so long as they claim it may help them in finding a foreign threat. Technically, the law is about the "target" of the information, and the NSA (and potentially the secret ruling from the FISA Court) has interpreted this to mean that as long as the target of the investigation is as foreign threat, then the NSA can snoop through anything in pursuit of that target.

Of course, most folks have been trying to play down the fact that the NSA would get the info. But not IBM. Nope, they're thrilled to send your private info right to the NSA:
[IBM VP of government affairs Chris] Padilla, however, says companies need to be able to share threat data directly with the NSA “because that’s where the expertise is.”

“It really is a simple matter. The expertise in the U.S. government on cybersecurity largely rests in one place, and that's the National Security Agency,” he said. “They tend to know the most, the soonest about cyber threats and I think, frankly, there is a certain amount of feeling in the business community that you should be able to work directly and share information directly with the agency that has the most expertise.”
While the NSA does have some knowledge on cybersecurity, it's an exaggeration to suggest that they have "the expertise" on the subject. It also does nothing to explain why your private info should be included.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    out_of_the_blue, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    And WHERE would they get data from? Google and Facebook.

    Somehow you always leave out the sources.

    Not that IBM is good.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

      Re: And WHERE would they get data from? Google and Facebook.

      Source?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

      Re: And WHERE would they get data from? Google and Facebook.

      You're not even trying to make sense anymore, I see.

       

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        Dave, Apr 16th, 2013 @ 10:32am

        Re: Re: And WHERE would they get data from? Google and Facebook.

        Sense? That's pretty much what I was going to say. Since when has OOTB spouted any sense, anyway? Speaking from the rear orifice again, I see.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:08pm

      Re: And WHERE would they get data from? Google and Facebook.

      Oh so if I don't use facebook or google I am invisible on the internet? Good to know, now if only I didn't have to register my MAC with my isp.

      Dumbass

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:39pm

        Re: Re: And WHERE would they get data from? Google and Facebook.

        You had to register your MAC with your ISP??? That's one stupid ISP. I can't think of a single reason why that information would be useful to them.

        What happens when someone visits your house? Does the internet not work for them until they register their MAC as well? What about if you replace the computer or network adapter?

         

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          Anonymous Monkey (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 4:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: And WHERE would they get data from? Google and Facebook.

          It's basically to tie the internet connection to a single computer. That's why most of the routers you buy today have MAC cloning, otherwise it's as you say, no one else could use the connection there.... stupid .. just stupid.

           

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            John Fenderson (profile), Apr 16th, 2013 @ 8:52am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And WHERE would they get data from? Google and Facebook.

            It's basically to tie the internet connection to a single computer.


            Stupid indeed, since that approach won't work at all. Changing your MAC is quick and easy.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

    Guess its time to store your data and private information with MEGA.

     

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    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:08pm

    Remember how cyber security is big business for the government, thanks to the hype?

    Meet one of the companies cashing in on the fear mongering.

     

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:09pm

      Re:

      Yep, that's it.

      IBM has long had a cozy relationship with the NSA. The NSA has required a lot of computing power for making and breaking codes ever since it was formed after WW2. IBM has been a key contractor to provide a lot of it.

      This is obviously an issue of money - IBM wants a contract, and their buddies at the NSA want the data. Match made for a law that would let the NSA send a juicy contract to IBM to gather, collate, data mine, and then supply it all back to the NSA. IBM spends a few million lobbying, gets back many millions in government contracts. Military-industrial complex, I think I remember something about that.

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:42pm

        Re: Re:

        Not to mention IBM was cozy with the Nazis, actively helping develop the system used to track their victims in the concentration camps (think the famous number tattoos).

         

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          The Real Michael, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:18pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yup, Hollerith machines, built by IBM. What a wonderful company, assisting the government in spying on everything we do while shamelessly flaunting more invasive technology on their commercials.

           

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        tqk (profile), Apr 16th, 2013 @ 9:06am

        Re: Re:

        IBM has been a key contractor to provide a lot of it.

        "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose". C'est la.

        Just when I thought they'd seriously become not evil, they go and do something stupid like this.

        Sigh (/CRAP!!!111).

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:19pm

    I have a feeling that IBM somehow profits from this and that's why they want to do it.

     

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    wallow-T, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:28pm

    today's news

    After today's events in Boston, expect total Internet surveillance to be pushed through Congress tomorrow, similar to the Patriot Act.

     

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      TheLastCzarnian (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:33pm

      Re: today's news

      We still need to see what happened, but it doesn't look good.
      I guess we'll get another 10+ years of the TSA needlessly groping grandmothers. Joy.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:01pm

      Re: today's news

      I'm half-expecting the news to say that this was " a web-orgnaised attack by Anonymous to derail the discussion and commit acts of dyberterrorism."

      ...I feel like I've donned a tinfoil hat that won't come off. that' is not how a government should come across.

      EVER.

       

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      Anonymous, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 2:11pm

      Re: today's news

      That's one reason I already suspect government involvement.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:40pm

    Does it really take 100 tools to open a pork barrel?

    While the NSA does have some knowledge on cybersecurity, it's an exaggeration to suggest that they have "the expertise" on the subject.


    Very nicely put, but let me fix that for your for accuracy:

    While the NSA does claim some rudimentary knowledge on cybersecurity, it's an abject fantasy to suggest that they have "any clue" on the subject of cyber defense.

    There is nothing in CISPA that will unhack an iDevice, on the contrary it will be easier to find.

    There is nothing in CISPA that will stop anyone's personal data and weekend photos spilling onto the Time's Square marquee.

    There is nothing in CISPA that will speed any defensive action, save for the speed with which courts could dismiss identity theft claims from the victims, given an industry-government alliance.

    Your information has value on the open market.

    Companies give away information sucking hardware and services in order to profit from that information. (See Google, Amazon, etc. etc.)

    Your government wants a cut.

    Enter CISPA.

     

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      Androgynous Cowherd, Apr 16th, 2013 @ 2:23am

      Re:

      Does it really take 100 tools to open a pork barrel?


      LOL.

      And they're $1000/hr tools they're sending, too. That pilgrimage to the hill is going to cost them a megabuck or more.

      Which makes me suspect they have something big at stakes. A contract with the NSA, perhaps. Or maybe something worse.

      For example, what if their Thinkpad drive encryption has had a backdoor all these years, and the NSA has the skeleton keys? All those border laptop searches where the laptop is sent somewhere that takes a long time to reach and return from ...

      Maybe they're afraid of possible lawsuits, and would really love a change of the law that removed their liability.

      Of course, their liability is, in that event, currently blackmail leverage the government has on them, so they would really need to beg to be let off the hook on that, and maybe promise some really big campaign donations to key people.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 12:49pm

    Psst... IBM, this is part of why you're known as a 'has been' company that not many people care about.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:45pm

    NEWSFLASH...

    Governments and corporations are the only things that matter; your inconsequential lives are not of their concern…
    That is all return to your normal head down positions.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 1:47pm

    i suppose IBM are hoping that if they cooperate fully with Law Enforcement, they will themselves be left alone to carry out what ever dubious practices they want unhindered. 'you scratch my back, i'll scratch yours' and fuck the members of the public because we've got more money than they have!!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 2:09pm

    Like the NSA doesn't already have it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 2:20pm

    Yup. After selling themselves out to China, they decided to, "..screw it!! now its time to sellout everyone else!!!"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2013 @ 3:27pm

    Hmmm...now I see where out_of_the_blue came from.

     

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    KroniKlepto (profile), Apr 15th, 2013 @ 6:51pm

    “It really is a simple matter. The expertise in the U.S. government on cybersecurity largely rests in one place, and that's the National Security Agency,..."

    This is a carefully worded and factually correct statement. Now give us our money.

     

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    Fake Name, Apr 16th, 2013 @ 3:49am

    Re: And they're $1000/hr tools they're sending

    And they're $1000/hr tools they're sending, too. That pilgrimage to the hill is going to cost them a megabuck or more.


    IIRC my brief time in the corporate world, most of those tools will be 20-32 years old and blonde. This may be more effective that you originally imagined...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2013 @ 5:39am

    But if they were truly customer focused companies

    No company is "customer focused" THEY ARE PROFIT FOCUSED, you idiot.. yes, true they use customers to make that profit, But they are in business to conduct business, which is the process of making profit..

    you've never run a business have you !!!!

     

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    special-interesting (profile), Apr 16th, 2013 @ 11:02am

    (Most of this is an echo of previous posts. A good read!)

    If any corporation sends 200 execs to any event it will be for profit. There is no other reason thats explainable. IBM seems to be acting as an, or in behalf of a, special interest group for reasons that can only be for corporate gain. Please argue with me, tell me am wrong.

    These people profit on providing software solutions that harvest data. Who cares, on the level of corporate profit, for constitutional privacy concerns. What forced costly updates to IBM systems would be required to satisfy new government rules for data taking.

    Privacy? Personal life and security? Who cares? Not IBM that seems for sure.

     

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    sehlat (profile), Apr 16th, 2013 @ 11:34am

    Not IBM's First Time As a Betrayer of Innocence

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2013 @ 6:51pm

    But if they were truly customer focused companies

    No company is "customer focused" THEY ARE PROFIT FOCUSED, you idiot.. yes, true they use customers to make that profit, But they are in business to conduct business, which is the process of making profit..

    you've never run a business have you !!!!

     

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    relghuar, Apr 16th, 2013 @ 10:57pm

    They tend to know the most, the soonest about cyber threats...

    I damn well hope they do. They've created some of the best ones themselves.

     

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