The Public Isn't Buying What The Feds Are Selling When It Comes To Cybersecurity Legislation

from the we're-from-the-public-and-we're-here-to-tell-you-to-leave-us-alone dept

We keep hearing US government officials tell us fanciful stories about why we need cybersecurity legislation that paves the way for the government to get access to private information, but the arguments never make much sense. There are vague claims of threats that really seem more like garden variety hackers, and then there are the completely made up threats that are pulled right from Hollywood scripts -- like the claims that an online attack will lead to planes colliding.

A new survey suggests that the public just isn't buying it. 63% of those polled worried about the impact on privacy and civil liberties if we provided greater information sharing with the government. So for all the talk about how there's "bipartisan" support for doing something here, it's not clear that there's really American public support for this kind of thing.

Filed Under: civil liberties, cybersecurity, hackers

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  1. icon
    Rapnel (profile), 13 Jul 2012 @ 11:10am

    Do. Not. Acquiesce.

    Trust No One. No warrants no data. Break the law expect discovery. Fishing? Dig up your own god damn worms.

    Immunity? Telecom should burn. PayPal should be bludgeoned.

    It would appear that my esteemed senator can at least think, however, there appears to be too much listening to people that should not be speaking. Fairy tales and golden goose eggs abound. Pay no attention to the seeds we plant for they shall reap, in good time.

    Private sector - I'm thinking they call it private for a couple of reasons.

    Senator's correspondence on the topic:

    "Thank you for contacting me concerning privacy and cyber security legislation. I appreciate having your thoughts on this issue.

    I noted your opposition to H.R.3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Mike Rogers on November 30, 2011. As you know, this legislation would require the Director of National Intelligence to establish procedures to promote the sharing of information about cyber threats between intelligence agencies and the private sector. To further promote information-sharing by the private sector, the bill also provides liability protection to those companies who take part in certain cyber security programs.

    As a senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, I have been working closely with my colleagues to raise awareness about our vulnerability to those who are increasingly targeting our identities, our businesses, and our national security secrets in cyberspace. I have discussed these complex and growing problems in depth with numerous intelligence officials and outside experts who have repeatedly warned that the threat to America's computer networks represents one of our nation's most dangerous national security challenges. In fact, on January 31, 2012, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified at an unclassified Intelligence Committee hearing that such threats "pose a critical national and economic security concern due to the continued advances in and growing dependency on the information technology (IT) that underpins nearly all aspects of modern society."

    With approximately 85 percent of the nation's digital infrastructure controlled by businesses, we must do a better job of partnering with the private sector to drive innovation in cyber security and raise the bar on cyber security standards and best practices. At the same time, I believe firmly that any proposal to enhance our nation's cyber security must include robust and unambiguous provisions to protect the constitutional rights and privacy of all Americans.

    For example, in early 2011, I supported the removal of the provision that addressed the President's authority in the event of a cyber emergency, due to concerns expressed that it would potentially infringe on the First Amendment rights of Americans. So I was pleased when earlier this year Senators on both sides of the aisle agreed to set aside that cyber security provision. In addition, we must avoid unnecessary or duplicative regulation that could stifle innovation or impede growth. As a result, should the Senate consider cyber security legislation this year, I intend to work with my colleagues to ensure our federal response to the threats we face is balanced and protects the freedoms that we all cherish.

    It is also critical that the process for considering cyber security legislation be fair and open, allowing Members to offer their ideas and amendments for improvement to the base bill. That is why I, along with Senator Mark Warner, wrote a letter on June 18, 2012, to Senate leadership urging transparent deliberation and open debate as the Senate considers cyber security alternatives. This is the most effective path to ensuring any cyber security legislation passed by the Senate secures our nation's information networks while ensuring that all voices, including those advocating for privacy rights, are heard.

    As you may know, H.R.3523 was passed by the House of Representatives on April 26, 2012, by a vote of 248-168. Upon passage, the bill was referred to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Please be assured I will keep your thoughts firmly in mind as debate concerning this and similar cyber security legislation continues.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. I value your opinion and hope that you continue to inform me of the issues that concern you.

    So? Take the time and show your concern. Over and over and over again.

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