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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Lord Binky, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:00am

    Is it not the governments function to do what we don't want it to do for our own good?

     

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      JaseP, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:07am

      Maybe YOUR Gov't... Not the one I give consent to govern...

      In the US,... It's supposed to be that the gov't governs with consent of the people ... And if they grab up too much authority, they better watch themselves, ... for THEIR own good...

       

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        MrWilson, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 11:00am

        Re: Maybe YOUR Gov't... Not the one I give consent to govern...

        Instead, if you threaten the government, it's interpreted as a threat to the people the government supposedly represents, therefore you must be a terrorist.

         

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          harbingerofdoom (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 11:08am

          Re: Re: Maybe YOUR Gov't... Not the one I give consent to govern...

          nice how that works isnt it?

          citizens: we dont want this
          gov: its for your own protection
          citizens: its government OF the people FOR the people
          gov: which is why we are doing this for your own protection
          citizens: we will get rid of you by violent means if necessary if you keep ignoring us
          gov: we are representatives of the citizens elected by the citizens. if you threaten us you are threatening the citizens
          citizens: but we ARE the citizens
          gov: which is why we are doing this for your protection

          ......rinse, repeat ad nauseum.

           

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          JaseP, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 8:10pm

          Re: Re: Maybe YOUR Gov't... Not the one I give consent to govern...

          Nope,... It's not called Terrorism, it's called Patriotism!!! You got yourself the wrong "ism."

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 15th, 2012 @ 5:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Maybe YOUR Gov't... Not the one I give consent to govern...

            One man's terrorist is another man's patriot.

             

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        TtfnJohn (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

        Re: Maybe YOUR Gov't... Not the one I give consent to govern...

        You see there's a bit of a problem with your statement they'd better do it for their own good.

        The changeover in the US Senate is low to almost non existent, the House of Representatives is almost as bad due to wholesale gerrymandering so the politicians are, rightly, unconcerned about finding themselves without jobs en masse when they wake up the morning after the November elections.

        For all that we're considered nice people without a bad thing to say about our politicians by many Americans who have never heard us grumble about our federal or provincial governments and what and unbelievable bunch of congenital morons they are or had a look as editorial cartoonists such as Aslin. Our cartoonists arm themselves with brushes that more resemble spears and japanese swords than pencils.

        Not only that we've also cleaned House quite literally twice in the last 25 years and come close a time or two in between. The 1992 (?) federal election sent the Federal Progressive Conservative Party into a long, well earned oblivion. Last year we sent the Federal Liberal Party into what, with any luck, will be a nearly permanent oblivion of the third party in the House of Commons. With even better luck one day into fourth place. They've more than earned it. Extinction would be even better.

        We do the same thing in Provincial legislatures, too.

        So our politicians are quite aware of the electorate's ability and willingness to send them on long term unemployment. (Unless you were a cabinet minister of course.)

        We're snarky, you see.

        For all the legitimate complaining about the US Congress many of we Canadians are amazed that the US electorate won't or can't be bothered to do the same thing.

        It's far and away the best way to send them the message short of armed revolt. That's not a good option in either country as the government controls the military who, like it or not, are better armed than any of us are. :)

         

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          Jacob Blaustein, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

          Re: Re: Maybe YOUR Gov't... Not the one I give consent to govern...

          Any idea how we could do what you knuks do?

           

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        gorehound (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

        Re: Maybe YOUR Gov't... Not the one I give consent to govern...

        +1
        And to also give support to your Statement I have already decided I won't be Voting for either of the Clowns who are running for President.If there is no 3RD Party Option I am done supporting a system I really hate.
        I should of done this decades ago.
        They should all watch Star Wars and learn of the Tarkin Doctrine.

         

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    monkyyy, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:05am

    personally the politicians i disagree w/ most are "bipartisan", they start wars, bail out banks, try to censor the internet, increase spying, cause inflation etc.

    --monkyyy the anarchist

     

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      rubberpants, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:13am

      Re:

      Absolutely. "Bipartisan" simply means that both sides feel they can each get about the same amount of campaign contributions from passing the bill.

       

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      Kevin, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 11:11am

      Re: [monkyyy the anarchist]

      This is precisely correct. 'Bipartisan' became a useful buzzword for politicians once the polling data began showing that the public largely views Washington as a group of inept, whiny children bickering on the playground instead of being the stewards of the public they were supposedly elected to be. Bipartisan just means that the Republican party and Democratic party agree on something, and the truth of the matter is the two parties aren't that different on a great number of issues (war, stance on Israel, military funding, kickbacks to big business constituency, etc., etc.) and are simultaneously WAY out of line with the public.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

        Re: Re: [monkyyy the anarchist]

        "and are simultaneously WAY out of line with the public."

        Who continue nonetheless to elect them.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    as if any government or politician has or will take notice of whether there is American public support. you only have to look at what Lamar Smith has been up to since SOPA got kicked out to get an idea.

     

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    Lowestofthekeys (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:12am

    The government is socially retarded, and completely unaware of that fact.

    I'd liken it to a friend who says they support you, yet continually enables his own friends to screw you over, and when confronted about that fact, they just shrug.

     

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    Shmerl, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:18am

    These kind of legislations let one think about dystopian cyberpunk future (like of Johnny Mnemonic and etc.). It's all leads to that if people don't stop it in time.

     

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    AC Cobra, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:22am

    We need...

    We need cyber-security legislation, but not the kind they're pushing. How about passing that Internet bill of rights!

    The greatest "cyber-threat" to us all is the cluelessness and corruption of our own legislators! (As well as the executive and judiciary).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:24am

    Anybody else notice that this came out within minutes of an Ars Technica article about how critical military and industrial infrastructure is vulnerable to attack? Amusing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward of Esteemed Trolling (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:28am

    "bipartisan support" = code for "both sides paid for" ?

    OK... some sourced copypasta for your meal-time, sorry that this copypasta tastes so bad.

    In an era when Republicans and Democrats can agree on almost nothing, one issue in the last three months has been providing common ground: rewriting the rules of the Internet.

    A list of companies and organizations that have sent letters of supportfor the bill to the House Intelligence Committee, where the legislation was created, meshes closely with the list of top lobbying groups so far this year -- not to mention groups that lobbied on SOPA and PIPA.

    For example, AT&T, which sent thisletter, spent more money lobbying in the first three months of 2012 than any other single corporation ($7 million, second only to the mega-trade organization Chamber of Commerce, which also lobbied on CISPA though to a lesser extent).Thetelephone utilitiesindustry as a whole, which includes AT&T and Verizon (which sent thisletter) spent $15.3 million in the first quarter of this year, increasing its lobbying expenditures by 35 percent over the previous three months. The total laid out for lobbying by the computer/Internet industry, which includes some of the biggest backers of CISPA, SOPA and PIPA, fell 6 percent in the first quarter -- but at $32.1 million, the industry was still the sixth-largest spender on lobbying amont all industries so far in 2012.

    It's hard to assess how much each of these companies spent lobbying Congress specifically on CISPA -- or other hot-button Internet bills -- because many of these companies have a variety of issues they're pursuing on Capitol Hill, but are required to report just one dollar amount covering everything. AT&T, for instance, spent its $7 million talking to lawmakers about 121 separate pieces of legislation.

    But it's clear that the lobbying firepower on the other side of the issue is a fraction of what supporters have. One of the most vocal opponents of CISPA is theAmerican Civil Liberties Union-- which has spent $507,000 lobbying so far this year, a 28 percent increase from the last three months of 2011. But the group used that money to lobby on 109 different bills, almost as many as AT&T. Another group that has taken a prominent stand against CISPA is theAmerican Library Association, which has spent $54,000 so far this year, spread over 56 different pieces of legislation.

    Another indication of the collective influence of backers of CISPA is the amount of money individuals or PACs affiliated with the organizations have given to key lawmakers on the issue. Last week we reported that the bill's original sponsor, Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), hadreceived$104,000 from groups that lobbied on the bill. With new campaign finance reports filed since that story, OpenSecrets.org data now shows that Rogers hasreceived at least$175,000 from organizations that have lobbied on the bill. That's about 15 percent of the total $1.1 million he has reported raising this election cycle. The top two groups: defense contractorSAIC(whose PAC has given Rogers $20,000 this election cycle) andKoch Industries(whose PAC has given Rogers over $14,500.)



    Sponsor(s) and Co-Sponsor(s) of H.R.3523 : Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011

    87 Republtards
    26 Democrytes

    Bill sponsor(s): 1
    Mike Rogers (R-MI)

    Representative Mike Rogers has reported a total of 405 contributions ($200 or more) totaling $346,638 in the current cycle.
    http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?type=C&cid=N00009668&newMem=N& ;cycle=2012


    Bill co-sponsor(s): 112

    Mark Amodei (R-NV)
    Steve Austria (R-OH)
    Joe Baca (D-CA)
    Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
    Spencer Bachus (R-AL)
    Roscoe G. Bartlett (R-MD)
    Dan Benishek (R-MI)
    Brian P. Bilbray (R-CA)
    Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
    Mary Bono Mack (R-CA)
    Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU)
    Dan Boren (D-OK)
    Leonard L. Boswell (D-IA)
    Mo Brooks (R-AL)
    Paul Broun Jr (R-GA)
    Michael Burgess (R-TX)
    Ken Calvert (R-CA)
    Dave Camp (R-MI)
    Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)
    John Carter (R-TX)
    Ben Chandler (D-KY)
    Mike Coffman (R-CO)
    Tom Cole (R-OK)
    Mike Conaway (R-TX)
    Jim Cooper (D-TN)
    Jim Costa (D-CA)
    Rick Crawford (R-AR)
    Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
    Geoff Davis (R-KY)
    Norm Dicks (D-WA)
    Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
    Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN)
    Randy Forbes (R-VA)
    Trent Franks (R-AZ)
    Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ)
    Phil Gingrey (R-GA)
    Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
    Morgan Griffith (R-VA)
    Michael Grimm (R-NY)
    Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
    Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL)
    Ralph M. Hall (R-TX)
    Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
    Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL)
    Doc Hastings (R-WA)
    Joe Heck (R-NV)
    Bill Huizenga (R-MI)
    Randy Hultgren (R-IL)
    Robert Hurt (R-VA)
    Darrell Issa (R-CA)
    Bill Johnson (R-OH)
    Pete King (R-NY)
    Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)
    Larry Kissell (D-NC)
    John Kline (R-MN)
    Douglas L. Lamborn (R-CO)
    Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
    Jim Langevin (D-RI)
    Rick Larsen (D-WA)
    Robert E. Latta (R-OH)
    Frank A. LoBiondo (R-NJ)
    Michael McCaul (R-TX)
    Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
    Mike McIntyre (D-NC)
    Buck Mckeon (R-CA)
    David McKinley (R-WV)
    Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
    Patrick Meehan (R-PA)
    Mike Michaud (D-ME)
    Candice S. Miller (R-MI)
    Gary Miller (R-CA)
    Jeff Miller (R-FL)
    Mick Mulvaney (R-SC)
    Sue Myrick (R-NC)
    Kristi Noem (R-SD)
    Devin Nunes (R-CA)
    Pete Olson (R-TX)
    Bill Owens (D-NY)
    Collin C. Peterson (D-MN)
    Joe Pitts (R-PA)
    Mike Pompeo (R-KS)
    Ben Quayle (R-AZ)
    Phil Roe (R-TN)
    Mike D. Rogers (R-AL)
    Tom Rooney (R-FL)
    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
    Mike Ross (D-AR)
    Jon Runyan (R-NJ)
    Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD)
    Steve Scalise (R-LA)
    Aaron Schock (R-IL)
    John M. Shimkus (R-IL)
    Heath Shuler (D-NC)
    Bill Shuster (R-PA)
    Albio Sires (D-NJ)
    Adrian Smith (R-NE)
    Cliff Stearns (R-FL)
    Steve Stivers (R-OH)
    John Sullivan (R-OK)
    Lee Terry (R-NE)
    Mike Thompson (D-CA)
    Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
    Michael R. Turner (R-OH)
    Fred Upton (R-MI)
    Tim Walberg (R-MI)
    Greg Walden (R-OR)
    Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-GA)
    Joe Wilson (R-SC)
    Rob Wittman (R-VA)
    Frank R. Wolf (R-VA)
    Rob Woodall (R-GA)
    Kevin Yoder (R-KS)

    sauce: http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/billspons.php?id=129763
    Sauce Credit:Center for Responsive Politics


    Get over to www.opensecrets.org and see the facts for yourself.

     

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    identicon
    Jason, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:32am

    TSA-NSA plot

    The remark about planes colliding is an OBVIOUS ploy for the next phase wherein you implicity consent to full nekked imaging of your person by flying the friendly nets.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:36am

    (no)PI, (no)Clue

    Their sharing plan is not just stupid from a security perspective, it flies against years of progress getting companies to even start to recognize, respect and properly handle Personally Identifiable Information (PI).

    On top of that, do we really want the worst players in the information security theater to regulate security?

    http://arstechnica.com/security/2012/07/ics-security-light-years-behind-itunes/?comment s=1&post=23053531

    An intelligent design has absolutely nothing to do with Intelligent Design. I think its prudent to keep DC out of technical decision making.

     

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

      Re: (no)PI, (no)Clue

      Reading the article you link to it's best to keep some of the largest companies on the planet out of technical decision making, too. Certainly in the area of security.

      That shouldn't surprise anyone. Large corporations employ thousands of bureaucrats, mostly known as middle management, as risk averse and as tied to procedures written down somewhere and to the bureaucratic principle of protecting and expanding their influence. Also known as "When In Doubt Mumble".
      http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_16?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywor ds=when+in+doubt+mumble&sprefix=When+In+Doubt+Mu%2Cstripbooks%2C360

      The results are the same. Particularly in the realm of spooks and others. While the goal may be and is the protection of the state the thinly disguised goal it to increase the budget and preserve and expand the bureaucracy. The best way to do that is scare stories which are so unbelievable to practitioners of network security that they become laughable. But it works on technically ignorant upper management or congresscritters or others of the genus legislatoris.

      Then having eaten their own kibble so long the equally ignorant spooks hire someone to implement the system, naturally the lowest bidder.

      Is it a surprise that iTunes or YouTube have better security than the networks that protect the state? At least iTunes and YouTube have technically adept and knowledgeable people working on the security side of things. There are some good things to say about guys or gals who keep their pens in plastic pocket protectors, you know. Even if they make mistakes they know what they're doing. They speak the same language as crackers do, can communicate with them if need be and, while the idea is to keep them out, admire the ingenuity, ability and incredible skill that goes into high end malware.

      Given the government's record on such things I don't want them poking about in my communications, violating my privacy and all the things they say they need to keep my (insert country here)'s networks secure. Why would I trust government organizations who can't secure their own networks, laptops, smart phones and so on? And why would I voluntarily supply them with enough information to identify me and probably my entire extended family?

      I'm just not that crazy.

      If another country wants to break into American (or Canadian) networks and finds they can do it without breaking a sweat and these networks, fully aware of the problem, don't or can't do a thing about it it's not time to fund them further it's time to fire them and get someone in who can do the job.

      Oh, and provide a smoke screen right out of Gilligan's Island about how easy it would be for Anonymous to break into the power grid one pole at time when they know the real problem is a cracker can take over the grid cracking into power stations by the bushel

      Gimme a break.

       

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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:36am

    Airplanes will fall out of the sky! OMG!

    ...Because some kid in Asia can hack into a self-contained, unconnected computer flying around on the other side of the world. Oh, and pilots are too effing stupid to fly the airplanes without sophisticated computers to do their thinking for them.

    Like this.

    http://www.exosphere3d.com/pubwww/pages/project_gallery/cactus_1549_hudson_river.html

    An d this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8fuhTpv3L0

    And these.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alrosa_Mirny_Air_Enterprise_Flight_514
    http://en.wikipedia.o rg/wiki/KLM_Flight_867

    Most of those are complete electrical failures. In case of a GPS gone wonky, there are still plenty of radio-based nav aids. In case of complete electrical failure there are standby instruments and the Mark I Eyeball.

    But how would somebody hack into the airplane in the first place? Its systems aren't online. Period.

    (I love watching the Hudson River reconstruction, but that's me. I'm weird that way.)

    I'll grant you if you COULD hack into something like the Airbus A320's systems you could completely take control of the airplane. But it would be considerably easier to plant a bomb.

     

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    Donnicton, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:50am

    "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    -Hermann Goering

     

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    iamtheky (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 10:57am

    .0000032 percent of the country were polled with 2 questions. If I am skeptical about anything its the usefulness of this data.

    63% said government and businesses should not be allowed to share information, but 55% said those same businesses should be allowed to set their own standard.

    You are either allowed to set your own standard, or there are guidelines imposed for your standard, like disallowing information exchange. But according to the poll, the government should not force businesses to meet the requirement of not exchanging information with the government.....right?

     

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    Rapnel (profile), Jul 13th, 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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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 13th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

    Why not? They buy everything else the government sells them.

     

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    Ninja (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 5:47am

    Late comment.

    Maybe the public ain't buying because you usually avoid products that are both BAD and EXPENSIVE. ;)

     

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