As Expected, Senate Has No Interest In CISPA; Planning Its Own Cybersecurity Bill Instead

from the cybersecurity,-the-sequel dept

It's really looking like the cybersecurity legislation fight for 2013 is merely a remake of the 2012 edition. First, the House passes CISPA in April, despite widespread privacy concerns (and CISPA's backers pretending they've taken care of them). Then, the Senate goes in a totally different direction with a bigger, more complex cybersecurity bill (last year there were multiple versions before the compromise Cybersecurity Act became the bill of choice) that at least (eventually, with amendments) is a little more conscious of privacy issues, but which then fails to pass the Senate because the Chamber of Commerce freaks out about "something something regulations." And, then cybersecurity regulations, CISPA and all, die out until the following year. At least the first part of that, with CISPA happened both years, and now the Senate has made clear that it's going in its own direction again in part because it feels that CISPA does not do enough to protect privacy (whether or not that's the real reason is left open to speculation). Who knows if the rest of the script will play out the same, or if the sequel will have some plot-defying twists. Either way, it seems pretty clear that CISPA, as written, is officially stalled out. And that's a good thing, though we'll be paying close attention to what comes out of the Senate in the months ahead.


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    Togashi (profile), Apr 26th, 2013 @ 11:27am

    (last year there were multiple versions before the compromise Cybersecurity Act became the bill of choice)
    It took me several reads before I figured out that you hadn't forgotten to capitalize all the right letters of the Compromise Cybersecurity Act. I was wondering when they became so candid about it!

     

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    Jay (profile), Apr 26th, 2013 @ 11:43am

    The public is watching?

    *sigh*

    Maybe it's just me but I think the next step here is to pass this thing when no one's looking. Of course, we have an ineffective bicameral Congress and they know that the public is watching this closely. What I'm sure is about to happen in the next few months is that either Reid decides to pass this in a budget bill (like the Patriot Act) or there's a voice vote and this passes with no safeguards, no clear direction of authority, and an overall mess of bureacracy which allows even more loopholes instead of better security for the public in general.

     

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    yaga (profile), Apr 26th, 2013 @ 11:55am

    Maybe this isn't about cyber security at all, it's about money?

    Maybe I'm just cynical but if I was in the House or Senate I hope I would understand that my ability to be there is still dependent on voters. So how would I line my pockets but still stay in power? I'd do something exactly like this. The House just got $84 million for voting on CISPA and the Senate probably stands to make more than that voting on whatever bill they are going to vote on. By voting on opposite bills and never actually passing anything, the Senate can say it's the House's fault, the House can blame the Senate, and they both know they are OK with the voters because they don't pass either law.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2013 @ 11:56am

    Maybe the senate bill will be narrowed to the original purpose and include strong privacy safeguards. Right guys? Guys? That's totally what the senate would do right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2013 @ 12:03pm

    See, the system works! =P

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Maybe this isn't about cyber security at all, it's about money?

    Do you seriously believe that all the people in the house and senate could conduct such a ploy?

    These guys can barely agree on the proper way to exit a paper bag, let alone how to stiff a bunch of corporations for millions of dollars.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Maybe this isn't about cyber security at all, it's about money?

    In such a system, it becomes far more important that you stall legislation than it does to consider the public interest.

    Such a situation should be anathema to anything that calls itself a democracy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2013 @ 12:40pm

    I would eat my lawn trimmings if the Senate came up with an alternate CISPA act that had anything, anything at all to do with improving systems security or even national security.

    What they say they need, the ability to share detailed technical information to improve general systems security, is already legal. Moreover technical discussions don't require offering personal information wholesale to the government and every other participating corporate entity (at retail).

    'Cybersecurity' in government-speak, where 1950's technology is used but looked upon with suspicion, refers to obtaining and selling personal information without restriction or accountability.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    In the end they will paperclip it to another bill, something anemic sounding like Funding Undergrad College Kids (or, FUCK for short)...and it'll pass under radar.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Apr 26th, 2013 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Maybe this isn't about cyber security at all, it's about money?

    Do you seriously believe that all the people in the house and senate could conduct such a ploy?

    These guys can barely agree on the proper way to exit a paper bag, let alone how to stiff a bunch of corporations for millions of dollars.


    Actually I think his theory is reasonable. There are quite a few politicians who have figured out that the best approach to stay in office while not pissing anyone off is not to pass anything.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Apr 26th, 2013 @ 2:07pm

    Re:

    'Cybersecurity' in government-speak, where 1950's technology is used but looked upon with suspicion, refers to obtaining and selling personal information without restriction or accountability.

    That's what companies like Google and Facebook want: obtaining and selling personal information without restriction or accountability. They're the ones who have the biggest vested interest in keeping privacy laws in their favor rather than in citizens' favor.

     

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    Rekrul, Apr 26th, 2013 @ 3:45pm

    Saying that CISPA doesn't do enough to protect privacy is a little like saying that the death penalty doesn't do enough to protect the people on death row...

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Apr 26th, 2013 @ 4:24pm

    Re:

    Saying that CISPA doesn't do enough to protect privacy is a little like saying that the death penalty doesn't do enough to protect the people on death row

    I'm not sure if I am interpreting your comment as you meant, but my thoughts on all the CISPA discussions is "What privacy?"

    Over and over again I read about companies proudly saying how they can cross-reference everything about everyone. They gleefully tell marketers and investors that they know all the details of our lives.

    Most of the commercialization of the Internet at this point is about eliminating privacy. So how can CISPA protect what isn't there to begin with?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2013 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Maybe this isn't about cyber security at all, it's about money?

    But such collusion would require the house to pass laws knowing that the senate would deny them, and vice-versa.

    I just don't see this type of knowing-agreement happening between these two groups... wouldn't it piss off constituents that either group passed a law they disagreed with? Right this moment, for example, I'm pretty annoyed at my rep for voting for CISPA. I'm also pretty pissed at my senator for other things that she has attempted to pass.

    Thus, at the moment, I'm pissed at both for their support of different things... my senator moreso (and I've been voting against her re-election all my adult life)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2013 @ 6:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Maybe this isn't about cyber security at all, it's about money?

    " There are quite a few politicians who have figured out that the best approach to stay in office while not pissing anyone off is not to pass anything."

    And what, exactly, does it say about a government when it has come to the point where the most beneficial thing it can do for its populace is nothing at all.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Apr 26th, 2013 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Maybe this isn't about cyber security at all, it's about money?

    And what, exactly, does it say about a government when it has come to the point where the most beneficial thing it can do for its populace is nothing at all.

    I'd love to see massive changes in campaign finance and corporate lobbying, but when Congress itself determines those issues, it's hard to get the changes made. Maybe if enough voters demand the changes, something will happen. Of course, if states find ways restrict who can vote, that limits change, too.

     

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