Congress Wants To Push Dangerous Cybersecurity Bill After The Election, Says US Economy Depends On It

from the bad-ideas dept

Reports are coming out that Congress is looking to push forward with bad cybersecurity legislation after the election, but before the new Congress takes over in January. We’ve discussed the bill in question, CISA, before. The main idea behind it is to immunize companies from liability if they share certain information with the government. Supporters of the bill note that the information sharing is entirely voluntary, but by taking away the liability it also makes it a lot more likely that companies will choose to give information to the government, and it’s not yet clear why the government really needs that information. But the FUD levels are high, with Senator Saxby Chambliss actually suggesting the entire economy is at stake here:

“If we wait another year, we are really risking the economy of the United States.”

Oh, come on. People have been saying this for years — along with the whole “cyber pearl harbor” claims — but have failed to present any explanation or details of how (1) there’s a real risk to the economy or (2) how current laws block necessary solutions. On top of that, no one seems willing to explain how further information sharing will actually help stop online attacks. Remember, this is the same federal government that didn’t even notice that the White House’s own network had been breached until some other country told us about it. And yet, we now believe that if only US companies were feeding more information to the NSA that they’d magically be able to stop attacks (and save the economy?). That seems unlikely.

It also sounds like there may be some sort of potential trade-off, in which Congress will try to lump this bill with the USA Freedom Act, as the White House is said to be focused on surveillance reform over the cybersecurity bill. But, the reality is that the two are in many ways attached. And there are increasing worries that the final result on the USA Freedom Act will, in some ways, actually (yet again) enhance the NSA, rather than hold it back. Combine that with a cybersecurity bill that will give the NSA even more ways to get our data, and the end result could be the surveillance state increasing, rather than shrinking, with no actual benefit to the American public. There would be fewer privacy protections and just some arm waving about saving the US economy.

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Comments on “Congress Wants To Push Dangerous Cybersecurity Bill After The Election, Says US Economy Depends On It”

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Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Power Corrupts

“Oh, come on. People have been saying this for years — along with the whole “cyber pearl harbor” claims — but have failed to present any explanation or details of how (1) there’s a real risk to the economy or (2) how current laws block necessary solutions.”

In exactly the same way as events happening entirely overseas to local stubbed toes relate to “National Security”!

The real question is how does one expect those in power to achieve absolute power unless there is wholesale capitulation of everyone except those in power?

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Power Corrupts

not to mention (as The They(tm) surely will not), THEY are responsible for approximately 99-100% of ALL THE NASTY STUFF THEY ARE WARNING ABOUT…
THEY are the ones compromising communication lines ALL OVER THE GLOBE..
THEY are the ones inserting backdoors and hiding zero days…
THEY are the ones hacking into SOVEREIGN countries systems…
THEY are the ones inserting malware and spyware…
THEY are the ones disabling and sabotaging individuals communications/computer systems…
THEY are the ones who are BY FAR engaging in all the nasty, illegal, immoral, unconstitutional actions, BUT EVERY ONE ELSE IS TO BLAME…

shit’s getting real now: sociopathy devolving into outright psychopathy…

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

“If we wait another year, we are really risking the economy of the United States.”

You mean like when you were part of letting the entire Government shut down and try to default on its obligations to prove you had the biggest balls?

I do not think you understand the economy, and the actions of Congress sorta prove none of you do.

Anonymous Coward says:

Dianne Feinstein and her bullshit CISPA / CISPA 2.0 and now CISA and get fucked, and as far as I am concerned Saxby Chambliss can claim his first class ticket on the boat to fuck-rightoff land.

There is nothing that will ever be a ‘cyber pearl harbor’ and if it was to occur it would likely be created by our own government ah-la Stuxnet.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Two things that confuse me about CISA

1. Companies already freely share this information anyway, so building in a shield against liability isn’t necessary to accomplish that. All it does is put American citizens in an even weaker position.

2. The passage of this would reduce trust in companies even further (as if that’s possible), since it just calls out and makes public the fact that companies are spying on you for the government. This seems like something companies wouldn’t want to have happen, since they really need to find ways to increase trust instead (preferably by becoming more trustworthy).

TruthHurts says:

A bill so bad, that it would cause issues with voting...

So wait for that period when “Hey, I just got voted out of office, so I can give America the BIRD with impunity!”

If that does happen, then we the people should start a class action lawsuit against the current house of congress and senate as well as PotUS for the irreparable harm that this law would cause.

These are < 500 people messing with the livelihood of the entire Country, somebody needs to knock some sense into what appears to be a house full of mentally deficient, slow witted, can’t pass the A.S.V.A.B. military rejects.

Anonymous Coward says:

Given the virtual media blackout on this story last week I think it is worth quoting from again:

When a nation’s leaders condone and even order torture, that nation has lost its way. One need only look to the regimes where torture became a systematic practice – from Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany to the French in Algeria, South Vietnam, the Khmer Rouge and others – to see the ultimate fate of a regime so divorced from their own humanity.

The practices of torture, rendition and imprisonment without due process by the United States have even greater ramifications. The United States, born of the concept of the inherent equality of all before the law, has been since its inception a hallmark that would be emulated by countries and entire regions of the world. For more than two centuries, it has been the enlightened ideals of America’s founders that changed civilization on Earth for the better, and made the US a giant among nations.

The conduct of the United States in the treatment of prisoners through two World Wars, upholding the tenets of the Geneva Convention while its own soldiers suffered greatly from violations at the hands of its enemies, again set a standard of treatment of prisoners that was emulated by other countries and regions.

These are the Americans we know. And believing that most Americans still share these ideals, these are the Americans we speak to.

In recent decades, by accepting the flagrant use of torture and other violations of international law in the name of combating terrorism, American leaders have eroded the very freedoms and rights that generations of their young gave their lives to defend. They have again set an example that will be followed by others; only now, it is one that will be used to justify the use of torture by regimes around the world, including against American soldiers in foreign lands. In losing their way, they have made us all vulnerable.

Anonymous Coward says:

We Get What We Fail to Prevent from Being Elected

That’s the short definition of “democratic republic.”

Saxby Chambliss is leaving office – unfortunately, voluntarily. I don’t believe he’s really intentionally evil in any major way (a little greedy and corruptible, maybe); I think he’s merely representative of the voting majority of his constituents, i.e., ignorant, intellectually lazy, prejudiced, jingoistic, and Christian fundamentalistically anti-science.

Before celebrating Chambliss’ exit, note that David Perdue, the wannabe Republican replacement for Chambliss’ seat is worse; in addition to all of Saxby’s “virtues,” Perdue has more than once during his campaign blatantly, publicly lied about his Democratic opponent. So, unlike Chambliss, I believe Perdue is actively evil and foolishly, stupidly dishonest.

Reminds me that things can always get worse. We gotta try harder.

Anonymous Coward says:

The post-election period is the singlemost time when a country’s citizenry needs to be especially vigilant of their leaders.

Next to death and taxes, the one thing we can count on in a ‘democracy’ is that underhanded things will take place right after elections. The people leaving Congress will be trying one last time to prove their loyalty to their future employers on the other side of the revolving door. The people just reelected know that the voting public has a short memory, so it’s time to push through those unpopular things they’d been putting off until after the election.

That One Guy (profile) says:

If they really believed that such a bill was ‘vital’ to the economy, they would have put it forward for dicussion and vote before the election, so the voting and discussions would be fair(well, as ‘fair’ as such things usually are), instead of being done by people who don’t have to worry about re-election for a good while.

Oh, right, they have tried to ram this crap through before, several times at that, and it’s been stopped before because it’s complete crap, and their defenses of just why it’s needed are nothing more than lies and misleading statements.

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