Why Do Senators Keep Lying About What CISA Would Be Used For?

from the liar-liar dept

We keep asking if the politicians supporting CISA — the “Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act” can explain just what security breaches it would have stopped — and they can’t. Because the answer is that it wouldn’t have stopped any of them. And yet, the politicians pushing CISA never seem to waste an opportunity to pretend that each new big computer hack would have been stopped if only CISA had been in place. A few months ago it was the OPM hack and, now, apparently it’s the T-Mobile/Experian hack.

Both Senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein (the two leading members of the Senate Intelligence Committee from each party) have been taking swings at anyone who won’t support the bill, and have cited the T-Mobile customer breach as a reason to support it:

?If these special interest groups are successful in mischaracterizing this bill, which authorizes purely voluntary sharing, they will only succeed in allowing more personal information to be compromised to criminals and foreign countries.?

The Intelligence panel leaders urged action on the bill following a breach that might have exposed private data for 15 million current and prospective T-Mobile customers.

Of course, the reason that the customer data was exposed has nothing to do with CISA, which would not have stopped that breach. It had to do with Experian screwing up their encryption. If Feinstein and Burr really wanted to encourage better cybersecurity, they’d be encouraging greater encryption.

And they’re not being truthful in the rest of their statement. As far as I’ve seen, most of the people opposing CISA are happy to admit that it’s about “voluntary” sharing of information — but they note that by taking away all liability from companies for sharing info, companies have greatly decreased incentives to protect user privacy.

And, also, all of this totally leaves out the real reason behind CISA. As was revealed this past summer, the NSA uses “cybersignatures” as selectors in searching through all of the upstream (backbone) traffic that it sniffs. Given that, what the NSA is really looking for are more “cybersignatures” in order to be able to sniff out many more things.

And guess what CISA would do? That’s right, create incentives for companies to give “cybersignatures” to the NSA.

This is almost certainly why Senator Ron Wyden made it clear that CISA is a surveillance bill in disguise, because it would play right into the hands of the NSA, by giving it a way to snoop on even more communications after convincing companies to hand over “cybersignatures” that it can then use to sniff through everyone’s internet traffic.

Yes, CISA is “voluntary.” But it’s totally about surveillance, not cybersecurity, and nothing in CISA would have prevented the T-Mobile hack or the OPM hack or any other hack. For Feinstein and Burr to suggest otherwise is totally disingenuous fluff, designed to mislead the American public and to support the NSA.

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Companies: experian, t-mobile

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Comments on “Why Do Senators Keep Lying About What CISA Would Be Used For?”

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Bob says:

You're not getting why..

.. they are going for total information awareness. The elite fear political awakening and want to lock down society so society doesn’t change in ways they don’t like. That’s why they are passing bullshit IP laws and giving corporations immunity. This is all part of the project of american empire.

The grand chessboard


The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives


The (mass surveillance) by the NSA and abuse by law enforcement is just more part and parcel of state suppression of dissent against corporate interests. They’re worried that the more people are going to wake up and corporate centers like the US and canada may be among those who also awaken. See this vid with Zbigniew Brzezinski, former United States National Security Advisor.


Brezinski at a press conference


More on spying and why you should be concerned:


The real news:





Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What will the EU think?

They don’t really care. The problem is not that the NSA listens in the EU. If that were the case then the Germans wouldn’t spy for them at the DE-CIX. The UK is even member in the Five Eyes club and has to share information.

I guess by muscle-flexing you mean the safe-harbor thing?
That wasn’t the EU trying to change something or flex its muscles. They just had to admit that the agreement violates current law. The whole thing got started by one citizen and not some MEP or politician. So that was more of an Oops! moment than a show of force.

Anonymous Coward says:

pretty obvious really, isn’t it? they obviously think it’s a better bet to back the various security forces, industries, corporations etc than doing what they were voted into office to do. and as for Feinstein, she should be removed completely from office at the first opportunity! she doesn’t have the public in mind at all!

John Fenderson (profile) says:

The other big lie

most of the people opposing CISA are happy to admit that it’s about “voluntary” sharing of information — but they note that by taking away all liability from companies for sharing info, companies have greatly decreased incentives to protect user privacy.

This is ignoring the other big lie with CISA: if the purpose is “voluntary data sharing”, then the legislation is totally unnecessary: there is nothing preventing companies from voluntarily sharing this data right now, unless it’s prohibited by a EULA or somesuch (in which case, the companies can just alter those terms).

No legislation is required.

Of course, the purpose is not voluntary data sharing. That’s just the lie.

Anonymous Coward says:

The NSA has already driven a stake through the heart of tech America, this should help them finish the job on the rest of the greedy American corporate shills. There, and I didn’t mention the name of that female senator who went “full retard” eons ago. The San Andreas fault is about the only thing that will stop ignorant Cali voters from re-electing her, but unfortunately that only covers part of southern Cali.

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