Snowden Leaks Have Likely Killed CISPA Dead

from the about-time dept

The cybersecurity legislation pushed by Reps. Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger, CISPA, was already probably dead in the water because the Senate had shown no interest in supporting their privacy-destroying legislation for the past two years -- preferring instead to introduce bills that actually took privacy seriously. However, as we'd explained at the time, CISPA was always really about giving more power to the NSA as part of a turf war between the Defense Department (which the NSA is a part of) and Homeland Security. In fact, the biggest concerns that activists were raising about CISPA was the fact that it would give companies broad immunity from liability if they handed any information over to the NSA. Supporters of the bill kept bending over backwards insisting that this was entirely "voluntary" and that, of course, the NSA wouldn't do anything bad with the data -- rather it was all to "protect" us from evil hackers from China.

Of course, given the revelations over the last few months concerning the NSA's activities, it appears that they've driven the final nail in CISPA's coffin, as a growing number of people in Congress realize that handing even more power to the NSA is not such a good idea.
"The plan was always a little vague, at least as [NSA boss] Keith [Alexander] described it, but today it may be Snowden's biggest single victim," one senior intelligence official said recently, referring to Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor who released documents revealing details of many of the agency's surveillance programs.

"Whatever trust was there is now gone," the official added. "I mean, who would believe the N.S.A. when it insists it is blocking Chinese attacks but not using the same technology to read your e-mail?"
Exactly. So kudos to Snowden for stopping another really bad bill that was always really about giving the NSA that much more power to spy on people.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 1:23pm

    If there's one thing I've learned about our government: even after the dead horse has been beaten to a bloody pulp, someone will scream "Now we can make glue!"

    CISPA will be back, in some form.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 2:01pm

    GOOD! That'll prevent legalizing what Google is doing!

    THAT was a main purpose of it.

    Where Mike fights CISPA without mentioning major data sources Google and Facebook.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Unfrozen Caveman (non-lawyer) (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 2:10pm

    "Snowden's biggest single victim"?

    ...how about only victim.

     

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  4.  
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    Shmerl, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 2:31pm

    I'm confused

    From the linked article:

    But General Alexander’s plan would put the agency, or Internet-service providers acting on its behalf, in the position of examining a far larger percentage of the world’s information flows.

    Under this proposal, the government would latch into the giant “data pipes” that feed the largest Internet service providers in the United States, companies like A.T.&T. and Verizon.


    Aren't they doing that already? Or did they stop? See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 2:37pm

    Re: I'm confused

    No, it was about making shit like this legal, rather than backroom deals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Lord Binky, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: I'm confused

    The voices told the NSA "If you build it, they will legalize it"

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 2:43pm

    Re: "Snowden's biggest single victim"?

    Well, there might be a few congresscritters who may be victims.

    The president is safe, two terms in already, but the party might be concerned. Oh wait, this started on the OTHER parties onus.

    It appears the lackeys are safe, who in congress might start the process, and the DOJ is not just on-board.

    There is a chance if the backlash is big enough for a few contractors that abet these operations.

    The public companies might feel something, who would want to buy from Microsoft for instance, universities, other private companies, other public companies, governments?

    In other cases, it will depend upon the marketplace. Is there sufficient competition in 'Privacy' related...well everything? The FTC might think so, oh and the FCC as well.

    Others?

     

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  8.  
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    Some Guy, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 2:45pm

    CISPA is dead! Long live [redacted] !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    Nick (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    So in light of Snowden's revelations CISPA was to give tech companies immunity from the data that they were already sharing. What this means is that Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, etc can be sued for mishandling (or maybe even handling or handing over) our private data to an un-trusted, sloppy and belligerent third party.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    CISPA and the NSA

    "In fact, the biggest concerns that activists were raising about CISPA was the fact that it would give companies broad immunity from liability if they handed any information over to the NSA."

    Not just the NSA, but also the FBI, IRS, and any other federal agency. Basically, CISPA would have done for purely domestic surveillance what FISA claims to do solely for surveillance of foreign persons.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 3:04pm

    Re: "Snowden's biggest single victim"?

    I'm certain Snowden has other victims. Jobs lost as the NSA scrambles to tighten security and reduce the number of contractors with access. Programs starting to face their first real scrutiny and in danger of being terminated because of it. Trust in the NSA lost, politicians forced to spend time and effort defending the NSA, and spending political capital to stop legal attempts on the NSA, etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Some Other Guy (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 4:04pm

    Re:

    I agree: they'll probably just put out more and more laws until they get the one they want. So I voted Insightful, rather than Funny.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    KrK (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Re: "Snowden's biggest single victim"?

    They aren't victims. They're the perpetrators. They deserve much worse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 5:43pm

    CISPA is dead? No wonder average_joe and out_of_the_blue are furious over Snowden.

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 5:44pm

    Seems Like The More Information They Collect, The More Terrorist Incidents They Fail To Prevent

    I’m not saying correlation is causation, but ... make up your own mind.

     

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  16.  
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    Pixelation, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 6:21pm

    Ah Yes CISPA, that wonderful icing to be spread on that shit cake called the Patriot Act. Eat up America.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 13th, 2013 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Seems Like The More Information They Collect, The More Terrorist Incidents They Fail To Prevent

    Statistically the more information you collect the more false positives you get and the more false negatives. Its probabilities, deal with it.

    To paraphrase Star Wars on the situation... The more you tighten your grip on information, the more Terrorists will slip through your fingers

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 7:51pm

    I hope your right, but they can always just write similar bills and say it will make things better knowing it will make things much worse.

    even if cispa, sopa and the likes are goners much damage was still done. anyone notice how search engines completely suck now? if we get complex with our searches even just a little bit it will usually give "no search results found" or maybe 1 page if your lucky

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 11:26pm

    Re: GOOD! That'll prevent legalizing what Google is doing!

    But if Mike opposes a bill that legalizes Google's activity that kind of proves that Mike is not a Google shill.

    If you're going to slander Mike at least don't shoot down your own claims

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 14th, 2013 @ 1:19am

    it's a shame that it hasn't put the damper on TPP etc as well. there isn't a single 'negotiation' that is going on that will not benefit the USA in some ways while be disastrous for the other countries involved in the 'discussions'. all of these 'agreements' when they happen are going to be opening up a bit more of each of the other countries to allow the USA to do even more than it does atm. none of that is anywhere near close to being good for anyone except the USA.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 15th, 2013 @ 7:44pm

    ACTA

     

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  22.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Sep 25th, 2013 @ 6:40am

    Techdirt's kids who don't censor have censored me again!

    Below is my comment from #2 in its horrible entirety, IF YOU DARE! YOU'VE BEEN WARNED! READ AT OWN RISK! Sheesh.

    This proves censorship because there's NOTHING here that any reasonable person would object to reading. My LEAST controversial comments seem most likely to be censored, as if they don't want me to get any positive. They just want to shut me up. You can tell from comments here and there that's their intention. They don't consider readers capable of judging for themselves, but do hold themselves to be high and mighty arbiters of what's safe for the soft-headed to read. And of course when I complain about it, they mock that. CLASSIC CENSORSHIP. They just don't have all the power that they want.


    This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it

    out_of_the_blue, Aug 13th, 2013 @ 2:01pm

    GOOD! That'll prevent legalizing what Google is doing!
    THAT was a main purpose of it.


    Where Mike fights CISPA without mentioning major data sources Google and Facebook.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Sep 25th, 2013 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: GOOD! That'll prevent legalizing what Google is doing!

    @ AC:
    But if Mike opposes a bill that legalizes Google's activity that kind of proves that Mike is not a Google shill.

    If you're going to slander Mike at least don't shoot down your own claims


    No, what I state is observable FACT that Mike opposes it without mentioning that it would HELP Google. CISPA is a PRO-SPYING bill that'll move Google and Facebook from operating in legal gray area to fully legal. This doesn't in any way prove that Mike isn't a Google shill, because he needs to publicly oppose it to maintain his credibility, but the bill -- note that I'm back on Sept 24 -- is now back on the table AS IF been on rails all along, so at the VERY least, Mike was WRONG here about it being dead! I bet it was just tabled while the NSA flap dies down.

    So long as Mike keeps opposing CISPA without mentioning Google and Facebook, how can you NOT suspect he's a Google shill? Over a period of months LEAVING OUT KEY POINTS indicates concealed motives.

    SO, guess you can choose to keep faith in Mike, who's been proved wrong here, and who definitely never mentions Google or Facebook as benefitting from this bill, while reviling ME who's merely proved right and warns of mega-corporations...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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