Forget SOPA, You Should Be Worried About This Cybersecurity Bill

from the this-is-not-good dept

While most folks are looking elsewhere, it appears that Congress is trying to see if it can sneak an absolutely awful "cybersecurity" bill through Congress. We've discussed how there's been some fighting on the Senate side concerning which cybersecurity bill to support, but there's a similar battle going on in the House, and it appears that the Rogers-Ruppersberger bill, known as CISPA (for Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) or HR 3523 is winning out, with a planned attempt to move it through Congress later this month. The bill is awful -- and yet has somehow already gained over 100 sponsors. In an attempt to pretend that this isn't a "SOPA-like" problem, the supporters of this bill are highlighting the fact that Facebook, Microsoft and TechAmerica are supporting this bill.

However, this is a terrible bill for a variety of reasons. Even if we accept the mantra that new cybersecurity laws are needed (despite a near total lack of evidence to support this -- and, no, fearmongering about planes falling from the sky doesn't count), this bill has serious problems. As CDT warned when this bill first came out, it's way too broad and overreaching:
However, the bill goes much further, permitting ISPs to funnel private communications and related information back to the government without adequate privacy protections and controls. The bill does not specify which agencies ISPs could disclose customer data to, but the structure and incentives in the bill raise a very real possibility that the National Security Agency or the DOD’s Cybercommand would be the primary recipient.
If it's confusing to keep track of these different cybersecurity bills, the ACLU has put together a handy dandy (scary) chart (pdf) comparing them all. And what comes through loud and clear is that the Rogers-Ruppersberger CISPA bill will allow for much greater information sharing of companies sending private communication data to the government -- including the NSA, who has been trying very, very hard to get this data, not for cybersecurity reasons, but to spy on people. CISPA has broad definitions, very few limits on who can get the data, almost no limitations on how the government can use the data (i.e. they can use it to monitor, not just for cybersecurity reasons) and (of course) no real oversight at all for how the data is (ab)used.

CDT has put together a reasonable list of 8 things that should be done if politicians don't want to turn cybersecurity into a new SOPA, but so far, Congress is ignoring nearly all of them. Similarly, EFF is asking people to speak out against CISPA, noting that it basically creates a cybersecurity exemption to all existing laws. If the government wants your data, it just needs to claim that it got it for "cybersecurity purposes" and then it can do pretty much whatever it wants.

This is a really bad bill and it looks like it's going to pass unless people speak up.

Filed Under: cispa, cybersecurity, monitoring, privacy, rogers-ruppersberger, sopa

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  1. identicon
    Delixcroix, 3 Apr 2012 @ 1:43am

    Is there no nd to these billsmaking a massive spy network for the government? As a Canadian these bills worry me the most because not only are they powerful enough to start filling our prisons up with nerds... geeks... And programmers who's inteligence makes them a threat to "national security" aka "Governments international Slave Network for monopoly money"

    The american dollar holds no value as anything but a token of servitude. The less money you have the greater slave you will always be.

    Want to watch the world burn? Take All your money, all your reasources out of banks. Banks that take your money and reasources that support the corperations that enslave you and the government that imprisons the free thinkers of our society.

    The only way anyone is going to get out of this alive is what could only be called a governmental Genocide. Sad to say but Republicans and Democratic officials of every sort is going to have to die. The people need to form a new government. One based on Freedom not slavery and security.

    Nobody wants to say bloodshed isn't the only way out of slavery but the government has already resorted to bloodshed upon the people.

    Do your part and show that the people can be terrorists because anyone who opposes the Secured slavery of all American people has already been labeled a terrorist. Your going to prison anyways in the long run so you might as well fight the power that's going to put you there.

    You are all violent criminals expressiong violent ideas and fighting for freedom. Something you do not have. Rally before the government has the power to cut down free thinking before it can oppose it.

    If the people don't stand up now and one of these bills passes. You will simply always be slaves. Step out of line and I am sure the blue collar slaves will have built a prison for you.

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