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.