Politicians Cynically Using JP Morgan Hack To Try To Pass Laws To Diminish Your Privacy

from the you're-doing-it-wrong dept

So, as you probably heard last week, JP Morgan revealed more details of how it had been hacked, noting that the number of households impacted shot up to 76 million, thus impacting a pretty large percentage of Americans. The hack involved getting access to customer names, addresses, phone numbers and emails. It doesn’t appear to have gotten anything else, but that’s plenty of information to run some sophisticated phishing attacks that could lead to some serious problems. It’s expected that the fallout from this could be quite long lasting.

Almost immediately, politicians leapt into action… but not in any good way. They’re cynically using this as an excuse to push questionable cybersecurity legislation. Specifically, Senator Angus King used it to push CISA, a bill that actually undermines privacy, rather than protect it, by giving companies incentives to share info more freely, opening up greater opportunities for leaks and breaches. CISA gives those companies a blanket get-out-of-jail-free card by taking away any liability in sharing such info.

What no one explains is how something like CISA would actually have helped stop the JP Morgan hack. That’s because it wouldn’t have helped. Congressional supporters of cybersecurity legislation keep playing the “something must be done!” card, without ever bothering to explain how the something (CISA) will actually help. They just make vague promises that by somehow letting companies share info without liability, we’ll magically all be better protected. Given the recent revelations about how government has regularly abused access to information, it’s hard to accept the “just trust us” explanation for why companies should just hand over more information.

Even worse is that King went for the FUD-based “cyber Pearl Harbor” claim — one that’s been trotted out regularly, usually by intelligence community folks who just want access to your data, when the reality is that even James Clapper has admitted that there’s little real chance of such a thing happened. But that doesn’t stop King:

?Congress must work to pass legislation that will improve our capabilities and protect us against more attacks like these,? King added. ?The next Pearl Harbor will be cyber, and shame on us if we’re not prepared for it.?

Okay, sure. Shame on us if we’re not prepared, but how will this law help us prepare for it? This is a question that no one in Congress seems willing to answer. They just insist we have to “do something.”

King wasn’t the only one:

Sen. Ed Markey called the hack ?yet another example of how Americans? most sensitive personal information is in danger.?

“It is time to pass legislation to protect Americans against these massive data breaches,? he added.

Rep. Yvette Clarke tweeted that the U.S. ?must keep up on cybersecurity.?

Right, but again, how will the proposed law actually help? The problem is that no one answers because the truth is that it’s unlikely to actually help keep companies and your data secure, though it might just make it easier for the intelligence community to get their hands on your data.

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Comments on “Politicians Cynically Using JP Morgan Hack To Try To Pass Laws To Diminish Your Privacy”

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

It is a shame there are no journalist left to ask the Senator to explain exactly how this bill would make us more secure.
I think it would be amazing to see his brain freeze up and try to spit out catch phrases to bypass the question and a real journalist saying, but this bill does not do this in the text and point out what it allows for.

Shame we don’t live in a free country with a free media that can actually get answers for citizens.

Bengie says:

Simple issue

““Congress must work to pass legislation that will improve our capabilities and protect us against more attacks like these,” King added. “The next Pearl Harbor will be cyber, and shame on us if we’re not prepared for it.””

The problem isn’t the law, it’s idiots and laziness causing the issue. Congress should just outlaw being stupid and lazy for important positions like programmers and sysadmins.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Simple issue

“The problem isn’t the law, it’s idiots and laziness causing the issue.”

But solving actual problems is too hard (some would even decry it as “big government” while ignoring or even supporting blatant fascism) and won’t make the highest bidder any richer.

“Congress should just outlaw being stupid and lazy for important positions like programmers and sysadmins.”

Like Congress would even dare try to sign anything that would criminalize themselves.

Anonymous Coward says:

Some suggestions:

1) Don’t trust big corporations or the government with sensitive personal data. They haven’t earned trust and have actively earned mistrust in many cases.

2) Avoid mass centralized storage of sensitive personal data. The more data that are stored in one place the higher value it becomes as a target.

3) Don’t pass any security undermining trojan horse BS like CISPA. Do the opposite and pass law to protect data and shut down the data theft free-for-all that has developed over the past 15 year.

4) Don’t let corrupt, ignorant fools like Anus King anywhere near “cyber” policy.

Anonymous Coward says:

One way that increased sharing could provide greater prevention of hacks like this

Shield the companies from all liability for disclosing information, then encourage them to preemptively post everything they know to their public web sites. Ta da. No more hacks, because now you can get whatever you want without breaking in anywhere. There’s also no privacy, but hey, at least with my way, even stalkers who couldn’t hack their way out of a paper bag can get in on the action. Bonus, it’ll make companies look silly and/or suffer massive fraud if they keep up with the stupid idea that knowing a SSN, mother’s maiden name, etc. somehow proves the knower is the person he/she claims to be.

Anonymous Coward says:

“What no one explains is how something like CISA would actually have helped stop the JP Morgan hack. That’s because it wouldn’t have helped.”

Thank you Mike, for stating the main issue with CISA. Sharing information ‘after’ a company has already been hacked, doesn’t prevent the hack from occurring. Obviously.

Add to it that most financially institutions are already required to disclose data breaches to the Feds, and I fail to see what this bill will accomplish.

Other than setup some kind of massive information sharing network for hackers to target. Completely defeating the purpose of the bill and making us all less safe and secure.

Greg Soilder (profile) says:

Interesting just one day after Congressman and former FBI agent Mike Rodgers says he will do everything he can to push CISA S.2588 The next day JP Morgan online banks are hacked?

3 Points

1st Point: Well it is funny a day before this Cybersecurity attack his JP Morgans back, according to the Hill Congressman Mike Rodgers from Michigan a Republican and a Former FBI agent SWORE TO PUSH BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY CISA or S.2588 CYBERSECURITY THIS YEAR http://thehill.com/policy/technology/219429-house-chairman-fears-political-tantrums-could-sink-cyber-bill You know I speak for my self Not TECHDIRT, this is Congressman Rodgers last year because he is retiring from Congress THIS YEAR and considering he is a former FBI Agent I would not put it passed him to call some of are American FBI or CIA working double agents and tell them to hack JP Morgan and inform JP Morgan Chairman Jamie Diamond to let the HACK go through so Congressman Rodgers can push this CISA bill considering CISA matches Congressman Rodgers CISPA Cyber Spying bill in the House. That is point 1.

Point 2 it is amazing the Senator Ed Markey a suppose it Progressive or Democrat from the State Of Massachusetts would try to push CISA S.2588. I thought that Senator Markey was for Net Neutrality http://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/to-protect-net-neutrality-markey-leads-senate-dems-in-call-to-reclassify-broadband-as-a-utility YET CISA or S.2588 gets rid of Net Neutrality http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/07/07/nsa-net-neutrality-fears-overshadow-senate-cybersecurity-vote

So Senator Markey what gives are you FOR OR AGAINST NET NEUTRALITY because CISA or S.2588 gets rid of Net Neutrality online. That is my Second Point.

Third Point

Senator Angus King an Independent from Maine who took the former Republican Senator Olympia Snowe’s job. Angus says he is more Democrat then Republican http://www.king.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/-king-highlights-affordable-care-act-successes-in-maine but if the Republicans take back the Senate in 2015 Angus King of Maine will switch parties and become Republican and vote against Obamacare http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/Senator-Angus-King-Maine-Republicans/2014/04/11/id/565067/ As you can see Senator Angus King is an opportunist who doesn’t vote on principal, rather whatever party LINES HIS POCKETS THE MOST in this case the Republican Chamber of Commerce and Koch Brothers. Now you know why Senator King supports the Cyber Spying Security bill CISA or S.2588 whether it damages the American people’s privacy or not, KING ONLY CARES ABOUT HOW MUCH LOBBYIST MONEY IS IN HIS POCKET http://reason.com/blog/2014/10/06/senator-exploits-jp-morgan-data-breach-t

So the point is, My trust of the US Government is low, and again Considering Congressman Rodgers is a former FBI Agent and is about to retire http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/28/rep-mike-rogers-to-retire-launch-national-radio-show/ I am sure he would want to pass one bill with his name on it and doesn’t give a BS if it hurts are privacy or not. What does this Congressman have to lose by calling some FBI Double Agents in to hack JP Morgan so the Congressman can pass his CISPA bill and ruin the internet. Bottom line is once again politicians will do whatever it takes to get there bills passed and lying in my opinion to the American people about a BOGUS (MU OPINION) hack on JP Morgan is just the way to push Cyber Spying. As I showed you before Congressman Rodgers SWORE CISA would be on the table this year and after Congressman Rodgers said that JP Morgan was hacked. Coincidence I DOUBT IT STRONGLY, Rep Rodgers FBI Hacked JP MORGAN. **CALL YOUR SENATORS AT 2022243121 and tell them NO TO S.2588 CISA and let them know Rodgers and his FBI will NOT FOOL YOU. Sign this petition from the Electronic Frontier Foundation to stop CISA Cyberspying S.2588 https://act.eff.org/action/stop-the-cybersecurity-information-sharing-act-of-2014

Anonymous Coward says:

Isn’t it an amazing coincidence that every time one of these anti freedom laws is about to be passed something like this happens that fires up the public to support their rights being removed.

A more cynical person might think that the government deliberately engages in false flag operations to cloud people’s minds with the long term effect this will have on their lives.

Wide awake says:

Re: Re:

It’s not really what’s kept on your computer or device that can reveal all your secrets; its the little trail of breadcrumbs you’ve left behind you out in the cloud.
Anonymity is an illusion in the digital age and all attempts to hide behind it are only further acts of self incrimination. All day long people obsessively write their own confessions: every search, every click, every comment, every poll, every like, every chat, every status update, every friend, every call, every e-mail, every photo, every purchase, every connection – everything everyone does on their computer, phone, or tablet is in some way captured and filed and cross referenced, to be sold or shared however its true owners desire.
Each fragment may reveal only a tiny glimpse of their most private selves, but these tech – blinded people never stop to think that someone could be out there reassembling their full, explicit picture in every revealing detail.

That phone you carry has got a microphone and a camera, so it can see and hear whatever’s around it. It can recognize a face, understand words, and match a voiceprint. It’s got an accelerometer, so it knows when you sit, when you stand, and which way you’re walking. Its got a GPS receiver that tracks where you are within a five foot circle. And whether you know it or not, you’ve signed over your permission to strangers to monitor and make a record of all those things every minute of the day. Google is a quarter of a trillion dollar company but they give away almost every product they make for free. Don’t you know what they’re selling to make all that money? They’re selling you.
You wouldn’t trust your best friend with what that phone knows about you, and yet you trust all those strangers lurking out there in the cloud, who’ve all said time and again that privacy is a relic of the past and a man’s wish for it is a cause for suspicion. If you’re dumb enough to believe that way, then go right ahead.

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