Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote

from the this-is-crazy dept

Update: Several people have asserted that Quayle’s amendment actually made CISPA better, not worse. I’ve now posted my thoughts on that.

Up until this afternoon, the final vote on CISPA was supposed to be tomorrow. Then, abruptly, it was moved up today—and the House voted in favor of its passage with a vote of 248-168. But that’s not even the worst part.

The vote followed the debate on amendments, several of which were passed. Among them was an absolutely terrible change (pdf and embedded below—scroll to amendment #6) to the definition of what the government can do with shared information, put forth by Rep. Quayle. Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government’s power, even though it in fact expands it by adding more items to the list of acceptable purposes for which shared information can be used. Even more astonishingly, it passed with a near-unanimous vote. The CISPA that was just approved by the House is much worse than the CISPA being discussed as recently as this morning.

Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for “cybersecurity” or “national security” purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.

Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a “cybersecurity crime”. Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government’s power.

Somehow, incredibly, this was described as limiting CISPA, but it accomplishes the exact opposite. This is very, very bad.

There were some good amendments adopted too—clarifying some definitions, including the fact that merely violating a TOS does not constitute unauthorized network access—but frankly none of them matter in the light of this change. CISPA is now a completely unsupportable bill that rewrites (and effectively eliminates) all privacy laws for any situation that involves a computer. Far from the defense against malevolent foreign entities that the bill was described as by its authors, it is now an explicit attack on the freedoms of every American.

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Comments on “Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote”

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Chris ODonnell (profile) says:

The 4th amendment will not protect the hundreds of not thousands of people that are wrongly convicted of crimes in the next few years before this proposed law eventually gets reviewed by SCOTUS. And given the current makeup of SCOTUS, I’m not real confident they’ll see it as in conflict with any existing constitutional protections.

Also- Mike didn’t write the post.

Anonymous Coward says:


The problem is the fourth amendment only applies to searches and seizures done by the government. If the government can coerce private companies into `voluntarily’ handing over information, then it wasn’t technically a search, and the warrant requirement is effectively removed from the online materials.

This is a problem now as well, but privacy policies and other restrictions prevent the government from abusing this power. However, CISPA indemnifies private companies for sharing information with the government, so most of these protections lose their effectiveness.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:


I thought it was more because Osama Bin Laden’s family is leaving Pakistan today. What an awesome excuse to pass this. First off, more attention in the 10 o’clock news about the relatives of a dead terrorist than to some bill in congress. Secondly, what a great segue if it does come up. You can surround the news of CISPA with a reminder of atrocious terrorist acts on one side and with the Etan Patz case on the other. Most people will then just eat it up.

Christine Sandquist (profile) says:


While it’s certainly true that the 4th amendment is above congressional law, someone has to step up and challenge it for it to be overruled by the SCOTUS. The SCOTUS also have to agree that it’s a case they want to take on. It’s not so simple as someone pointing out that “Oh, you can’t do that. Lulz!” Basically, just because a law may be unconstitutional doesn’t mean that it’ll be overruled right off. And given that our current SCOTUS tends to be fairly happy with giving the government more power (and isn’t exactly up to speed on how technology works), I am not so certain we’d manage to get a majority against this. We’d probably get Sotomayor, Breyer, and Ginsburg, but the rest are fairly iffy…

Anonymous Coward says:

Like I’ve said before, CISPA has become an election year ploy by house republicans to make senate democrats and Obama look bad and weak on cyber crime. It’s no longer about cyber security, it’s about winning the white house & more seats in congress in 6 months.

Adding reasons like ‘protecting children’ for why the government can gather lots of data with no warrant isn’t about protecting the kids, it’s about claiming Obama and democrats are against protecting our kids.

This bill is sadly looking more and more like the PATRIOT act to me. An unnecessary bill that violates Americans rights to privacy pushed through in the name of protecting America from someone evil.

lan says:

these lawmakers have no right to limit our internet access. Congress is busy crafting at least 5 cybersecurity bills but only 1 jobs bill. That shows how little they care about the welfare of US citizens. These lawmakers, most of whom are not tech experts and don’t really know how the internet actually works, is crafting legislation in an attempt to control the internet. Even Tim Berners-Lee, one of the creators of the internet, is against this bill.

Joe Helfrich says:

"Protection of Children"

The issue here is the “Protection of Children” clause in the amendment. With the elections approaching quickly, voting against that amendment would be twisted into “Your representative refused to prosecute child porn!!!elevenz!!111!!!” commercials.

No one really wants to spend money trying to explain why that’s not true, and with a promised veto from the White House, the Dem leadership probably did a quick count, wrangled enough members into voting no on the final bill to make sure that it would be short of the 2/3rds necessary for an override, and released everyone to vote how they liked (for their own protection) on the amendment, and the folks in the vulnerable seat to vote for the final bill.

Now it gets kicked over to the Senate, which is slightly less vulnerable to this sort of election blackmail. If it doesn’t die there, it gets vetoed, and not overridden.

Sound and fury, signifying nothing.

RobShaver (profile) says:

To paraphrase Ross Perot ...

“That sucking sound you hear is our human/constitutional rights getting drained away by the people YOU put in office.”

I don’t hear much talk in these pages about the NDAA that Obama already signed which effectively repealed the Habeas Corpus Act. (Read The NDAA: a clear and present danger to American liberty in The Guardian where it says The US is sleepwalking into becoming a police state, where, like a pre-Magna Carta monarch, the president can lock up anyone)

Now CISPA is pushed through is another nail in our coffin.

BlueBaron says:

Bad, but not the worst

While this is bad, the Senate still needs to vote, and the possibility of veto still exists (though no precise word from the administration on this). They’re shy of the 2/3 majority, the Constitutionality of CISPA can still be debated, and the law can barely be enforced without turning the nation into a huge oppressive machine like China or North Korea (and if that happens, simple Internet revolt probably won’t be enough). Give it time, there’s a large chance reason will overcome idiocy.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Protect the Children.

As the policies and actions of Congress members could harm children, born and unborn, the best use of this is to open up all communications they have.
While they seem to think the people are the problem, I think the bigger threat is bills being passed or amended that allow Corporations to do things that could have adverse effects on children.
I think it is high time we remind them they are still just regular citizens and it is their duty to support this new overreaching legislation. I can think of nothing better coming out of it than to know who is offering who money to vote certain ways, who is making investments with insider information, who is voting to secure a position after they leave office.

I am think of no nobler purpose for them in office than to become 100% transparent in everything they do, say, and think. Just think of all the crime we could prevent, and how much more secure we would be when these leaders know every thought they have is immediately viewable by average people.

Capt ICE Enforcer says:

Governmental access

Do not fear my friends. The US government will soon install a back door into all electronic devices for your protection. And to reduce the overhead from private companies to hand over the data. Reducing taxes and increasing production.

Plan of action:

1) All cell phones will transmit all communications, text messages, location data, and randomly send pictures and video to ensure you are safe from terrorist.

2) All computers will automatically route information to government systems first. This ensures that malware is not on your system. Just like EA did with Battlefield 3

3) Any device with a camera or audio will transmit data to the government without the user having to give consent or permission. This reduces the time individuals need to read stuff.

4) The government is also authorized to add/remove files from any of your electronic devices at will. Doing this while you sleep ensures that your valuable time will not be wasted.

* We promise to protect you from all the evils that you are not aware of. And will try really hard to protect everything about your personal life. And will not use this information to deny you medical coverage, insurance, or career employment. We will also try hard not to use this information for blackmail. We have submitted request to everyone on the planet to not hack our almost strong security system (70% of the time it works all the time) and gain complete access to everything about you and the millions of others in this country. We may use this information to assist in fabricating evidence to ensure the, TVShack and MegaUpload individuals go to prison for ever and ever though they did nothing wrong. We also humbly request that foreign nations do not bring democracy to the USA as the USA had with other countries such as Iraq, and Afghanistan. Our spying on everything you do is much more high tech, so it cannot be wrong.

Capt ICE Enforcer

Anonymous Coward says:


Apparently Children > Individuals – because we pass all sorts of laws that protect them while removing rights from individuals.

What I wouldn’t give to be 17 again, so I can have more rights and protections than grown-ups. Hell, maybe with my newfound rights, I’d have the power to actually pass some laws that made sense!

CNYLiberty (user link) says:

Feeding the new NSA Utah Datacenter

Here’s how this turns into a free pass for NSA wiretapping of all American internet communication:

NSA Boss: We need to feed the new Utah datacenter. I want you to install a wiretap for all internet traffic through ISP X.

NSA Lackey: National Security Letter?

NSA Boss: No, there’s political heat on us because some loose-lipped Senators mentioned the secret interpretation of the Patriot Act. Use CISPA instead. It’s easier anyway.

NSA Lackey: Okay. Will do. Heil USA!

NSA Lackey: Hey, you blueshirt! I need a word with you…

Homeland Security Guy: You again?! What do you want this time?

NSA Lackey: We have info about a cyberthreat involving ISP X. Contact them and let them know we need a wiretap installed on all their internet traffic.

Homeland Security Guy: And what are you gonna do with all that traffic?

NSA Lackey: None of your business! Just git r done like a good little cable guy, would ya’?

Homeland Security Guy: Hi.

ISP X CEO: Hello. How can I help you today?

Homeland Security Guy: We need to have some of our friends in black come and install a wiretap on all your internet traffic.

ISP X CEO: Huh? What about all the trouble AT&T got into with their San Fran datacenter? What about wiretap law? I think I’ll have to call my attorney first…

Homeland Security Guy: No, you don’t need to do that. It’s because of a “cyberthreat”. Did you hear that magic word I uttered. Let me say it again: “CYBERTHREAT”. You are immune from any civil or criminal liability for cooperating.

ISP X CEO: Oh. I see. But this will take some labor on our end. It’s going to be expensive.

Homeland Security Guy: We’ll reimburse you at a very healthy rate.

ISP X CEO: Oh, so we can make some money off of this too?

Homeland Security Guy: You betcha! Do you agree to voluntarily cooperate then?

ISP X CEO: Do we have a choice?

Homeland Security Guy: Work with us, you get money and no liability. Refuse and you not only lose the money, but you might get the liability, and your company just might become a “cyberthreat” itself.

Anonymous Coward says:

"Protection of Children"

Funny thought:

I honestly think that anyone coming out against porn will lose in a close race. It won’t be covered on the news. It won’t be on polls because people won’t want to admit to it.

However… there is obviously a massive demand for porn in the United States. If there wasn’t, there wouldn’t be so much porn directed at us. I think it would be one of those “silent majority” losses that no one wants to admit to and few people see coming.

Anonymous Coward says:

Makes you wonder

Seems kind of shady?

“There should be little doubt that a country that kills innocent people around the world, guns down its own people, and threatens Israel would not hesitate to carry out a cyber-attack against the U.S.,” said counterterrorism and intelligence subcommittee chairman Patrick Meehan

Perhaps the only doubt should be that as Iran is the only country that seems to be suffering under a deluge of cyber attacks, is the doubt about precisely what it is that Meehan is smoking?

aldestrawk says:

It's finally time

One of the characteristics of TOR is that a message transmitted through the network will travel through node(s) that are not subject to a single country’s laws. Also, you personally could host a TOR node. I’m sure there are people who are willing to do this in the US who are motivated not to voluntarily share information with the government.

I am certainly motivated, after reading recent articles on NSA’s Bluffdale, Utah facility which included the fact that Stellar Wind uses at least 10 to 20 intercept points in our telecom infrastructure. This certainly has undercut and continues to undercut the 4th amendment I am motivated because CISPA will legitimize, unless it is found contrary to the 4th amendment, arbitrary surveillance leading to a surveillance state. A surveillance state, for sure, provides the tools to protect from terrorism, cybercrime, etc. but at the same time provides the infrastructure for a totalitarian state. I am now motivated and will be sending in my resume tonight to work full time on the TOR project as I saw this week they have a software opening.

Watchit (profile) says:

I have some questions for those of you more knowledgeable in politics and law about the 2nd amendment passed.

“2. Conyers (Ml): Would strike the exemption from criminal liability, strike the civil liability exemption for decisions made based upon cyber threat information identified, obtained, or shared under the bill, and ensure that those who negligently cause injury through the use of cyber security systems or the sharing of information are not exempt from potential civil liability.”

1. How far does this actually help?

2. And what exactly does “negligently cause injury” actually mean?

Anonymous Coward says:


Amendment IV:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall be issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Article VI paragraph 2 of the Constitution
This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

Nowhere in the 4th amendment does it say that the law is limited to just the government. Anyone who took an oath to protect the Constitution is obligated to fight against lwas like this.

Oath of the enlisted

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Nowhere does it say to obey the senators or representatives or the laws they make.

Anonymous Coward says:

Bad, but not the worst

You (and others) fail to understand the dynamics of overcoming a veto. Once a bill is vetoed, the underlying merits go out of the window and it is all partisan politics. But first you have to get to the veto stage. In order for that to happen, the President would have to be totally immune to threats to stall legislation that’s important to him. He has to be willing to wage war long before it gets to the veto stage. In an election year, that is a very dangerous fight for the incumbent administration to take on. Particularly when the issue is “cybercrime” and murky threats that are poorly understood. The anti-SOPA forces won because they were able to engage in bumper sticker politics. Their message was distilled into a few words. In this case the legislators fighting “cybercrime”, ‘foreign hackers” and “protecting children” have the bumper stickers. The other side has a much more involved, detailed and nuanced case to build. Guess what? The American electorate is a mile wide and an inch deep. Few people think beyond the slogan. Obama’s best hope is that the final bill won’t hit his desk before November. And then he’ll sign it.

I fully expect the douchebags of Anonymous to step in shit by taking down Congressional websites and the like making passage even easier.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:


apparently 60-40 is near unanimous. way to fear monger, you are no different then the mainstream media that fear monger the masses into giving up our liberties.

Perhaps this is not quite clear, but the “near-unanimous” part is about the amendment that was voted on before the bill – and that was indeed a near-unanimous vote (i forget the count now but it was around 400 in favour)

Digital says:

Alpha Centauri

“As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth’s final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.”
— Commissioner Pravin Lal, “U.N. Declaration of Rights”

Pay attention says:

Can everyone stop with the “oh I’m going to vote X out of office, he’ll be sorry!”
a) The powers that be (and their software) count the votes, not you.
b) More importantly:

1) Company A writes law that benefits them.
2) Company A pays congresscritter to vote for law.
3) You write congresscritter a letter opposing the law.
4) Congresscritters’ staff member gives him a summary: “A bunch of people sent letters opposing this law.” Congresscritter shrugs, as this is not relevant to him.
5) Congresscritter votes the way company A told him to.
6) Congresscritter is now rich and happy. His family is going to have a bigger house. His children will go to fancy colleges.
7) You cast your vote against the congresscritter next time you’re asked.
7a) Computer ignores your vote?
7b) Computer counts your vote?
Doesn’t matter, because:
8) Congresscritter now gets a cushy job at Company A. He is further secured in the top 1% of the population.

Explain to me why congresscritter will give a damn about your letter, phone call or vote?

People need to learn to do a lot more than vote. Recognize when a system is deliberately oppressing you. Don’t be a sucker by following the rules set up by the same oppressor.

jabberwookie says:

pedos the new jews

If you were ever wondering how Jews ended up cooking in ovens, how a gradual but efficient erosion of rights of a minority were established, how fellow citizens sat aside without getting alarmed, you need only look at how pedophiles have been cordoned off into a special class of people undeserving of legal protection.

> 3) protection of individuals from the danger
> of death or physical injury; 4) protection of
> minors from physical or psychological harm;

Note the lack of reference to any criminal activity, and the radical lowering of the bar to “psychological harm.”

This law will enable anybody at any computer network decide to hand over information voluntarily on the activity of a so-called pedophile, whether that activity is illegal or not. It is an attack on political speech, on the right to assembly.

Pedophiles had better flee the country. There is no time left. Reason will not prevail.

Andrew S. (profile) says:

This STILL doesn't violate the 4th amendment

This is just another illustration of how behind in technology the law is.

Under the third party doctrine, any information exposed to third parties is not subject to 4th amendment protection. Basically, the Supreme Court held that the government did not need a warrant to obtain the phone numbers people dialed, because they had to reveal the phone number to the phone company.

That has evolved into, the 4th amendment does not protect any information you put online (including email), because you expose it to your ISP or other service providers.

Kagan indicated she’d be willing to scrap that rule in her recent concurrence in the GPS tracking case, however, it hasn’t happened yet. Until it does, this bill is entirely constitutional…

Anonymous Coward says:


With all due respect to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who is a very smart guy and has been on the right side of nearly all these issues, he did not invent the Internet. He invented the web. The Internet was already around for a long time before he came along, and while the web is certainly a big part of it, it’s not the most important part: it just happens to be the part that most people see.

Jeffrey Henderson (profile) says:

This doesn't end the 4th Amendment

Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a “cybersecurity crime”. Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all.

No one can say the 4th Amendment doesn’t apply online. If this passes the Senate and is signed into law as is then it will surely be challenged in the courts and should be overturned and blatantly unconstitutional.

That said this is completely ridiculous and yet another sign that our govt doesn’t work for us at all. Anyone who still believes that is delusional.

Cowardly Anonymous says:


Congress Critters don’t move as fast as the Internet. It takes them a little while to get into the committees (which is where most of the money and job offers are targeted). Kick them out every time they ignore the people and you’ll cause some shuffling in the system. During that shuffling, there is a chance to strike deeper.

Civil-disobedience won’t work any better if the Politician’s are beyond the reach of the vote, though it is quite useful while they can be influenced. Granted, in this case, route-around is the best you can do.

Riots and revolution, well, I’d like to avoid the bloodshed if at all possible.

Another tactic we can try: contact other countries diplomats. You know, countries that still have an ounce of morals but fear the US not liking them. Send them petitions, from the American public, that they can throw in our diplomats faces. Get other countries to pressure the US for a change.

A third tactic: Boycott any company that doesn’t explicitly forfeit the immunity granted by CISPA in their privacy policy (yes, I know, hardest of the three).

Anonymous Coward says:

It's finally time

“One of the characteristics of TOR is that a message transmitted through the network will travel through node(s) that are not subject to a single country’s laws.”

As always, it has a start point, and an end point. The nodes in a given country would be subject to that country’s laws.

Good look. TOR is just another way for those who want to break the laws to try to help each other do it. Not very cool, really.

Cowardly Anonymous says:

This STILL doesn't violate the 4th amendment

True, but this bill allows for all internet communications to be handed over, by your ISP. You haven’t actually released this information to the ISP, as they function as couriers. Mail that is not crossing the border is the standard from which the inclusion of papers in the amendment is derives.

Obtaining the number dialed is a far cry from obtaining a sound recording of your call, which does require a warrant. Similarly, all data below that IP header has not been released to the ISP. The government can already obtain IP addresses (though private entities must go through the courts). The information shared under CISPA is far, far broader.

Anonymous Coward says:


I feel that way now, wondering what a site may or may not be set up to do with your info, but at least back then they didn’t have laws to encourage and expand these despicable methods…….its our fckin information ffs………shall i start forwarding my mail to the nearest government body, should i call my local governing body and arrange a time thats convenient for me for them to fix my phones wiretap, should I teach my grandchildren that its illegal to block internet capable cameras, because of our safety.

Now some of you are thinking unlikely, others will argue the fact purely because they can’t stand an opposing opinion to their own, which I encourage to be honest, one day im sure they’ll be fighting for a noble cause, but in my eyes, that’s the kind of world that i see SNEAKING upon us all

Doesnt matter (user link) says:

Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 26th, 2012 @ 4:24pm

Not sure if uv followed the whole group of BS goin on in the world, but illuminati have actually disabled the borders between canada and the US. Meaning they can come arrest anyone in North America under “probable cause”. This cispa garbage effects everyone everywhere essentially.

So my question is, do u not want help from fellow human biengs to stop sucha notrosious bill that will essentailly limit every action done by everyone on the world wide web?

Anonymous Coward says:

Bad, but not the worst

What Anonymous is doing is a protest – sorta like an internet version of a 60’s “sit in”. The folks who giggle about “not understanding the net” don’t realize the home page is more like a poster and no real harm has been done.

That’s also the point. Most of Congress still think it’s cute to “not understand” the net when they’ve had over 20 years to figure out it’s not cute anymore. They are not the ones writting these bills. Private corporations are. That’s a gimme for abuse right from the gate.

Back in 2003 some wireless providers were caught editing and not forwarding texts that were critical of going to war. Now that’s legal. How can the US support or criticize other governments that do that and turn around to impliment the same?

Anonymous Coward says:

This STILL doesn't violate the 4th amendment

“You haven’t actually released this information to the ISP, as they function as couriers. Mail that is not crossing the border is the standard from which the inclusion of papers in the amendment is derives.”

Hmmm. So maybe this is the reason Congress wants to destroy snail mail?

Anonymous Coward says:


I mentioned this earlier, but most people seemed to gloss over it on another post:

You may have yelled down SOPA, but you didn’t get rid of reality. This bill (and others to come) will have the same effects, will do the same things, and will change the way you do things online in very basic ways.

Because there is no “taking away youtube videos” angle to play on this one, there is little real outrage out there. Yes, Mike and a few of his friends are getting pissy, but the reality is that this law (or one similar to it) is pretty much a given considering the lawlessness of the online world.

I think of this (and SOPA for that matter) as an attempt o go out and get rid of all the silly legal blinds and foxholes that have blocked successful prosecution online. Further, it does it in a very eloquent way, by completely bypassing the 4th amendment due to third party involvement.

It’s a very swift and very direct kick in the balls to all the people who thought they could hide by doing things “on the internet” instead of in person. Sorry, the time bell jsut rang, last call at the ok corral.

?lfric Stormcl?ak says:

Hey wait!

I’m pretty sure he said he would cease dea raids on medical marijuana dispensaries, end the bush tax cuts, open talks about the federal decriminalization and reschduling of marijuana, fix the economy, create jobs and veto ndaa 2012, let’s just say I’m suffering from the wors case of voters remorse for George W Obama. VERMIN SUPREME 2012

Keii (profile) says:

The rollcall vote as recorded.

I do believe the only validity to what you said was this line here:
“the reality is that this law (or one similar to it) is pretty much a given considering the lawlessness of the online world.”
Just not for the reason you say.
The reality is that this law, or one similar to it, is pretty much a given because politicians/lobbyists don’t quit. They never quit. If one thing is struct down they’ll rewrite it in a different language and try again.
I respect Ron Paul’s oldness on not voting about that intertubes webinet thing.

ThumbsUpThumbsDown says:

Worst possible CISPA, best possible invitation for CISPA takedown

They insist. It’s their road or the Highway.

They think three hundred million Americans can be served whatever rancid, even toxic, borsht comes off the legislative menu without consequenses: It’s PIPA one week; SOPA the next; ACTA, for breakfast and lunch the following month; and, for supper a year later, you too can look forward to washing down the past years gastronomic nightmare from our American Congress with the delightfully fecal aroma of CISPA in the air.

In a sense, it’s good that with this latest passed version of CISPA, these Legislators have come out of the closet and told us more clearly than ever EXACTLY what the THINK.

More of the sleeping American Democracy Should hear and begin to REALLY understand their message. Only then will the REAL power behind three hundred million voices be heard. Perhaps then the legislatures will be cleaned out from floor to ceiling in both houses; down to the skanky fleas and ticks and lice the live their; washed down in every nook and crany with disinfectant; and a new generation of leaders invited in who have been born again to the REAL meaning of the American Constitution.

Anonymous Coward says:


Who the hell cares about the canada america debate? Regardless of where we are this shit is happening and its real. Unfortunately for all of us. So everyone learn to agree that yes no matter what way you spin this its bad and something needs to be done about it. (Not that anotther internet blackout will work but hey we can hope)

Gator says:


Obviously I’m pro-privacy and anti-orwellian police state…….but how do privacy rights apply to voluntarily, publicly “shared information”? Are they going to be reading my e-mail, or reading the shit I post on forums and facebook? Because I don’t see the latter as any different from writing something down and nailing it to a public wall. The only difference is it’s in fact way MORE public than that would be, and thus I’m more liable for it.

I usually have kneejerk reactions of opposition to this stuff, but I’m starting to look more critically at things. Trying not to blindly believe whatever someone says on a status update.

ariotshield (profile) says:


Yeah, and you guys all try to act like big brother. Always in our business and trying to lend a helping hand, eh?

Yes, you’re part of North America but you are not part of the United States of America. You’re part of the Great White North, eh. So, hail to the queen because you follow England’s politics. You should be more interested in what they’re up to instead of us.

ariotshield (profile) says:

Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 26th, 2012 @ 4:24pm

We all know Canadians are always in on American politics. The American election was the most watched show in Canada. Sounds like you guys just want to become part of these great states, eh. It’s nice that you guys care, but nothing will come of your care. You’ll only gloat when bills pass and harp on about how Canada is better.

Ah, how I enjoy my unmetered bandwidth. Oh, wait… Canada doesn’t get that. πŸ™‚

The Moondoggie says:

CISPA is great ....but

No I think this is worse than how U.S. treats the world: basically all the government needs to do is point a finger on any guy with a computer and yell “CRIMINAL”!

And with the world imitating the U.S., I will bet $10 this type of law will b passed elsewhere, the world will still get the shorter end of the stick.

Activist (user link) says:

List of who voted for CISPA

Final vote:

Check to see if your congressman voted for CISPA (HR3523). If they did, vote against them in the coming elections. Also, look up other parts of their record, and use that information to help convince others to vote against them. Examples include NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act of 2012), the cosponsors of PCIPA (HR 1981): , those who voted for HR 347 , and the cosponsors of the Stop Online Piracy Act (HR 3261):

The congressional and Presidential Primary in Texas is May 29th. Michael McCaul [R-TX 10th District] voted for CISPA. Vote against him in the primary!

EmberlyAwake says:

Response to: Pay attention on Apr 26th, 2012 @ 6:56pm

Indeed. We are wayyyyy beyond the point where we can take back our country using this system. Now we find out if our land of the free and home of the Brave have the guts to do what it takes when the time comes. That time is Dawning. We’ve deluded ourselves and buried our heads in the sand here at home and have shamed ourselves abroad! Its heart breaking because I love our country! Its time to Wake Up people!!! What are we gonna DO???

aldestrawk says:

It's finally time

Like anything valuable, it can be abused. I think having the capability of anonymity on the internet is too important to forgo because there are some criminals, terrorists, pedophiles etc. who would also use it as a tool. They can be caught or stopped in other ways. With global surveillance and data mining quickly becoming a technological possibility, anonymity provides a way for dissidents to communicate, which is an important tool to fight tyranny.

That One Guy (profile) says:

I’m going to be laughing my ass off if the public makes a big enough stink about this, Obama actually vetoes the thing, it doesn’t get enough votes to override the veto, and the whole thing backfires on the people who are trying to pass it.

Instead of the republicans being able to hold it up as them ‘doing something to protect the internet, and children, and puppies’, all the while painting Obama as a terrorist for trying to shut it down(and thereby weaken the internet of course), at that point the democrats would have a pretty easy time of painting Obama as a champion for the internet(whether or not it’s true), which would be a massive boost to his reputation for the election.

Anonymous Coward says:


Will you still be laughing your ass off after it passes? There were enough positive votes already to override the veto, so there is little chance that Obama can stand in the way for more than a few minutes.

I would say you might want to control your laughter until the whole thing plays out. There isn’t anywhere near the backlash on this one compared to SOPA.

TerraHertz (profile) says:

Just keep running in circles of denial

It amazes me. Each year this bs gets worse. Long ago it stopped being even funny, and at least a few years ago it became clearly a matter of survival of civilization.

Yet still everyone runs around talking, talking, talking.

Hey! The Criminal Elite Ziombies are breaking down the last barriers. Don’t you see it?

It’s shotguns or nothing, now. The only way to defeat zombies is to blow their heads off. Talking DOES NOT WORK.

Anonymous Coward says:

Awww, poor baby! Somebody got their panty’s in a bunch. How cute. Is it because having that red, white, and blue dick jammed up your ass is cutting off the circulation from your brain? Otherwise, you’d know that fascist bills like these effect more then Americans. Like how the Patriot Act has been used for drug stings against Canadians. Btw – How’s the drug war going? Oh, right. Epic fail.

I’ll take a freedom loving Canadian over a freedom hating American any day…

JRB mad man plan says:

Well ladies and gents, I gurantee soon to come will be laws constricting “what” a terrorist actually is. More than likely leading to us all being marked as a threat if we appose outlandish corrupted bullshit like this! My point may be smudged but in short, we the people of the United States. NO. The world need fight the overbearing governments of this twisted world! Because soon we will be their puppets and dance we shall as they dine upon fine wines and we squeal as swines!

Anonymous Coward says:

This doesn't end the 4th Amendment

And read the responses after. Besides with, we do have our 2nd Amendment, and I gotta tell ya… If the system breaks down I’ve got 2 months to live without guaranteed medical treatments every other day. If I’m going out, I’m going to spend my time helping ensure that my nephews enjoy the freedoms that we were guaranteed over two centuries ago.

Anonymous Coward says:


“But since it was designed by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory it’s not exactly a viable method to circumvent US spying.”

This is a claim often made, but it isn’t true. The Tor Project is not a part of the US government, and Tor is opensource. If there had been any backdoor, it would surely have been discovered.

And no Tor is not just for “criminals” with something to hide. Law enforcement, political dissidents and whistleblowers even in civilized nations use Tor.

Joe says:

"Protection of Children"

Obviously, the situation in America has become so bad, that parents are unable to raise their children properly.

I think the solution for this is for all American parents to take their (Sugar pre-loaded) children to the Whitehouse (or some Govt facility), wearing “My parents can’t raise me, so the Govt will” T-Shirts, and leave them at the security office/reception/loading dock.
On the plus side, the parents can have a child-free day, while the kids run amok!!

Chargone (profile) says:


well, there you go then… arrange for there to not Be a legitimate president for a while, rise up against the rest of the government and corporations in the name of the constitution, and by their own oath the military would need to follow You.

or put ’em in a situation of picking between the president and the constitution, i guess.

i mean, at this point ‘enemies… domestic’ pretty much covers 90% of your corporations and government, no?

Chargone (profile) says:


i dunno, given the way most republics seem to be going you’d be hard pressed to tell me ‘republican’ and ‘common sense’ have much to do with each other these days πŸ˜›

‘democracy’ at least of the representative sort, hardly seems to be all it’s cracked up to be (whatever the hell that means) either… so i don’t think democrats are really any better.

personally, i’m quite happy being a monarchist πŸ˜›

Chargone (profile) says:

The rollcall vote as recorded.

… i’d say ‘if they’re both crap, run yourself’

but the USA is an epic example of the fail that is the two party system… fairly substantial evidence that the entire point in political parties is to undermine the democratic functions of the system. proportional representation partially counter acts this, but has it’s own issues.

Anonymous Coward says:

Americans have become the monster

And where do they go? Name one place that has the opportunity and freedoms that are comparible. Canada? Close. Australia? Close, but again they don’t want to piss off the US. No real gun rights. That’s a deal breaker for me.

I’d rather stay and fight. I’m not giving this country up to a bunch of cowards and marxist die-hards.

Devils Principle says:


I just voted in my state’s primary, Tuesday. I voted against every incumbent. I will do it again for the same reasons that bills like this pass the House. I am definitely voting against the incumbent, Charlie Dent here in PA~15 and will encourage others to do so.

F this country. We have a~holes making incedibly stupid laws.

Anonymous Coward says:


Kinda agree, i think people are genuinly getting REALLY worked up about this, but are leaving or hoping that others who are worked up, to do something about it, but if everyone is thinking that, then fuck all will change, like me, ill admit, ill probabaly wont do much apart from the odd comments here and there…….the only exception i feel, if i think about it, is if something big comes along, or a clear message to governments is happening like world wide massive protests……..then i can see myself joining in proactively, however limited, but yeah, if im honest with myself, until that something comes along, its unlikely me, or anyone will do anything about it.

I hope to god im wrong, but…….???

remember, our best offense is communication, where else can you have whisperings of a protest in one part of the world, and have those same whisperings reapeted within mintutes in the other side of the world?

Anonymous Coward says:

someone please explain to me why it is that politicians who are supposed to be working, first and foremost, for the citizens of their respective country, so frequently ignore those citizens and do whatever it is they feel like, regardless of the adverse impact the decision will have? i understand that citizens have entrusted those politicians to act for them, but when they do the opposite of what is wanted, why is their no immediate recourse able to be taken? having to wait for 3 years, sometimes more, is pretty ridiculous!

Kromn says:

Well, this is how the government and the corperations that power it can abuse their authority, they have just ok’d something in the e-world that is illegal in the mundane world, identity theft, and the opening of mail not of your property. I thought these were federal crimes, however if the feds are comitting it, I guess it is a federal crime.

Matthew (profile) says:


Congratulations “Aye” voters – you just got on my “do not re-elect” list! You’ve joined the illustrious ranks of unrepentant SOPA and PIPA supporters. I want Obama to veto this piece of shit legislation, but your opponent in your next election just got my vote no matter what else happens.



Sir, our AI has scanned all your comments, emails, pornography searches and related internet activity. You have scored low in Patriotism and far too high in independent thought, this flags you as a cyberthreat. Please open all doors and windows, lie on your stomach on the floor and prepare to be extracted for reeducation. I wouldn’t tell anyone about this as they may get upset and say something cyberthreatning and have to join you at Camp USA.

God Bless America, or else.

TDR says:

Suddenly I’m hearing the Imperial March – the USA’s new national anthem. Cue the Star Destroyers – er, battleships – and the stormtroopers – er, Marines!

Perhaps we should start writing our comments and emails in Pig Latin. Maybe if a lot of people do it, it would give the snoops a big huh? moment when they see it all over the place.

It’say imetay orfay usay otay outeray astpay esethay illsbay, incesay echtay isay alwaysay asterfay anthay awlay. Ethay etnay illway eesay isthay illbay asay amageday anday outeray arounday itay. Imetay orfay anotheray etnay ackoutblay! Amenay!

Anday obbay isay egacylay ediamay illshay., asay eway allay owknay.

And that’s just normal Pig Latin. We could always come up variations, too, to keep them guessing and make the words less obvious.

Ashyballs says:

I'm gonna dumb this down....

This isn’t about amendments, security, the children, or any of the other bullshit reasons people think this is a good or bad idea. Botton line: The government has no business getting into my business. You open this floodgate, and then what? Where is the line? Protect my right to freedom, liberty, and the persuit of happiness, protect the borders of this country, and abide by the constitution. Period. End of story. Leave the rest to the states and the people. Jesus Christ. It isn’t rocket science.

Jewltone says:


4th Amendment & Search & Seizure.
FYI from IT Law –

Determination of reasonableness depends on the judicial balancing of the individual interest, generally regarded as a privacy interest, against the governmental interest, including law and order, national security, internal security, and the proper administration of the laws.

Due to passing of new laws and regulations in regards to national security the definition of probable cause has changed quite a bit and US citizens have been desensitized by very public searches via TSA and Security.

Before you say the 4th amendment protects you, you better understand that warrants are no longer required, they are encouraged. That probable cause has very new definitions and interpretations since 911.

Though I would absolutely love for you to be right.
I have personally witnessed searches that did not have probable cause. That were “random” in the name of avoiding racial profiling and targeting.

Anonymous Coward says:


Holy hell, that might just be the single most ignorant thing I have ever read. The Americans and Canadians are economically intertwined. Canadas largest trading partner is the US, and vice versa. It’s not just economics, either. Canada and the US’s military work very closely together. These are just a few of the myriad of things the Americans and Canadians share. Canadians are interested in American politics because they are aware of how it’s going to affect them. Canada, especially recently, has been adopting American laws. For you to say that the Canadians should be more interested in British politics is like saying the Americans should be interested in French politics; it just doesn’t make any sense.

D. says:

I don’t wanna be Hindsight-man, but that’s what you get when you let other people decide for you. Direct democracy is the only democracy.

When a law is in the making, every person it applies to should have the right to vote on it (and of course that vote has to be taken into account significantly). That’s what freedom and democracy are.

Thomas (profile) says:


The House just repealed the 4th amendment. I thought that would require consent of 2/3 majority of the state legislatures.

Himmler and Beria would really be proud of the House of Representatives.

The SCOTUS will definitely approve it – there will be some nice fat gifts involved. Wonder how much you have to pay to get a favorable decision from SCOTUS? Cash? Drugs? Hookers? Offshore real estate? Stock?

Chosen Reject (profile) says:


You ask what limited time is, and use the law to defend your position? That’s a bit circular. You know what limited is, and you know doubly well that 75 years ain’t it, and you know triply well that 75 years plus the life of the author ain’t it either. So you go with “The law says it is so it must be”? That’s circular, and it’s wrong.

Philly Bob (profile) says:


The government’s way of over-reacting.
If one person does something, they ban it across the board.
If you hit your head, the world has to wear hard hats from now on. Drop something on your foot? Steel toed boots for everyone.


Three of the biggest catch phrases of the year:

It’s to “Protect The Children”. If you are against the bill, you are against the children and you are against America, which makes you a terrorist.

It’s “for the troops.” If you are against the bill, you are against our troops and you are against America, which makes you a terrorist.

It’s “for your protection”. WOW! I didn’t know that after 53 years I wasn’t capable of protecting myself! But I need the government to protect me from becoming a terrorist!

Suddenly, everyone is a criminal, a terrorist and a child molester. When did this happen?

Peter Sherinian says:

cispa bill

Why? Why is yhe congress considering bills like this and why is the administration advancing bills like this? What is their modus- operanda for doing this? Also are they even asking the voters the people of this country if we want laws like this? I don’t think so. This along wiTh The resT of The bills ThaT have been inTroduced in signed, along wiTh execuTive orders, need to be rescinded.

Peter Sherinian says:

cispa bill

Why? Why is yhe congress considering bills like this and why is the administration advancing bills like this? What is their modus- operanda for doing this? Also are they even asking the voters the people of this country if we want laws like this? I don’t think so. This along wiTh The resT of The bills ThaT have been inTroduced in signed, along wiTh execuTive orders, need to be rescinded.

Maybe says:


If everyone commits suicide, they will only be able to rule themselves and they will say, “Man, these laws suck.. I’m not going to obey that one.. Lets change this back. Oh wait, we don’t have to abide by these.. what was I thinking?”

“I’ll have the Charred Ostrich with deep potato shoots and a glass of the methane water.”

Meat says:


I was riding my beach cruiser behind some shops west of the tracks in Dania Florida looking to see if anyone had thrown out an old screen door I might be able to use and had just crossed east back over the tracks trying to pick a piece of meat stuck in my teeth from lunch when I got pulled over by a Broward County Cowboy who saw me with my tounge trying to unstick the annoying meat (grizzle from a hamburger). He searched my mouth for crack cocaine right there on main street with a flashlight (up & down, front & back right & left, twice) temporarily cuffed me until backup arrived and after 45 minutes gets a reply back from HQ that I had no priors, then lets me go. Probable cause had just given way to reasonable suspicion and that was one interpretation of it, I guess.

Doug says:


Although you are correct on that, how many peoples lives will be affected that cannot afford high priced attorney’s before someone gets it to the Supreme Court? This is where uncanstitutional laws are a detriment to freedom. What we need is to only elect candidates that are serious about taking their oath to protect and defend the Constitution seriously, no matter what. Nobody will be spot on in every issue for us, but right now, the destruction that has been happening, at an alarming rate, to our Constitution should be our main concern.

Justin says:


It’s worth noting that this doesn’t just involve your actions on a computer. This involves your actions WHICH ARE STORED ON ANY COMPUTER IN THE US.

Almost everything you do is stored in a database somewhere by somebody. This gives the US Govt the ability to access all of that information *WITHOUT A WARRANT*. This is a massive dismantling of privacy in so many cases that do not involve your presence or activities online. As a society, we use our digital computing technology to aid in almost everything, and because of that, almost every action you take IN THE REAL WORLD will be visible to the government at any time for any reason if this bill passes.

They will know:

1. What you eat when you pay for dinner with your credit card.
2. Where you are every time you make a non-cash transaction (or worse, even then with surveillance or any kind of “rewards” card you use)
3. Every person you’ve ever called, for how long
4. Every transaction you’ve ever made on your credit card
5. What kind of lingerie, underwear, or other personal items you purchase.
6. etc etc etc

Fantastically useful information for a “cyber security” bill, am I right? “Privacy” is something that will no longer exist in this country if this bill isn’t crushed in the senate. This is the worst bill I have ever seen proposed. It makes SOPA/PIPA look like a fucking joke.

KMU (user link) says:


They will know:

1. What you eat when you pay for dinner with your credit card.
2. Where you are every time you make a non-cash transaction (or worse, even then with surveillance or any kind of "rewards" card you use)
3. Every person you've ever called, for how long
4. Every transaction you've ever made on your credit card
5. What kind of lingerie, underwear, or other personal items you purchase.
6. etc etc etc

So what??

Bill Stewart says:

Evading The 4th Amendment

It’s worse than Chris O’Donnell says. It’s not just that the 4th Amendment won’t protect you from criminal prosecution for “cybersecurity” violations before somebody successfully appeals it in Federal court (which the Justice Department might or might not appeal up to the Supremes), though that’s certainly true.

It’s also that CISPA lets the Feds and maybe other police demand information from your ISP on extremely flexible grounds, just as wiretaps let them get your information from phone companies, so they can collect all your Internet traffic just because they feel like going fishing, even if they don’t end up accusing you of a crime, as long as they might be able to link it to protecting children from interference with their rights to license protected Disney intellectual property, etc.

Snuffy says:


Right. If you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear. As long as you have absolute trust in the integrity, and competency, of the government. I have neither. And what happens to our economy when the clumsy idiots destroy the trust that makes internet business possible? These guys (congress) brag about their ignorance of how the internet works, but have the temerity to make rules about it’s use?

Mike Hunt (user link) says:


To be perfectly honest….I’m glad it has passed.Why?Because the internet needs controlling.If the real world ran like the net it would be bedlam.For too long it has been the wild west and everyone just ran wild and stole goods and behaved like scumbag bits of shit.Well now your wild west is over and I am fucking glad.Boo hoo our rights,boo hoo..Fuck the lot of yer you crying,assholes.There Ive said it.Someone had to.

Crop/Gov = Idiots says:

This sh*t is useless

The end is near for these corporate demons, less than 15 years and they’ll be a distant memory. All this CISPA crap is, is basically a “last-minute” struggle to survive the SMACK DOWN the Internet has placed on these demonic life-draining viruses. It’s too little, too late, they had a good run being the feces of planet Earth, but it’ll be over soon.

A better metaphor is a drowning person, thrashing to stay afloat, but alas, they cant swim and will soon be dead.

People will simply start to use encryption/stenography to do their daily tasks, like downloading terabytes “intellectual property” absolutely 100% free as always. This in fact, will ACCELERATE, and NOT be mitigated.. Not one bit, regardless of these demonic bills that get passed.

foozebol8085 says: