by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
cispa, mike rogers, nsa, privacy

CISPA's Sponsor Can't Even Keep His Story Straight About NSA Having Access To Your Data

from the also,-wtf-politico? dept

CISPA's sponsors are doing the same thing they did last year when confronted with serious opposition to a terrible bill: they start lying about it. First, they released a "fact vs. myth" sheet about the bill that was so ridiculously misleading that the EFF had to pick apart nearly every dubious claim. A big part of this is trying to hide the fact that the bill has very broad definitions that will make it much easier for the NSA to get access to private data. No one has claimed that this automatically allows the NSA to do full "surveillance" via CISPA, but that's what CISPA's supporters pretend critics have said, so they can fight back against the strawman.

What's incredible is that the statements from CISPA's supporters are, themselves, quite contradictory. Take, for example, the hilarious statements from CISPA sponsor Mike Rogers to Politico, in which he seeks to "fire back" at critics who worry about CISPA being used by the NSA. Read his comments carefully, and you'll see that he goes from saying that the NSA won't have anything to do with it, to saying that the definitions are broad (so that maybe the NSA will have something to do with it) to then saying that the NSA is the best at this, so it should be able to use CISPA to get access to private information. All within a matter of a few sentences.
Here's the full bit from Rogers: "I don't know where they get that. It doesn't say that in the bill. NSA is not authorized to monitor; this is not a surveillance bill. If you read the bill — I encourage those privacy groups to actually read the bill — you won't find that in the bill. ... We're agnostic on how the government would form [an info-sharing regime]; some want DHS, some want others. We thought, let's be agnostic on that portion so you get the right regime. But if you don't have the capability of the NSA, taking that information from the Iranians and the North Koreans and others, and allowing that to get back into the system, it's worthless. And if you want the gold-standard protection from cyberattacks, the NSA has to be at least somewhere. They don't have to get it, they don't have to be the lead in it, but they're the ones that have the capability for overseas collection."
So, basically, it's all an overstatement that the NSA might get access to your data... er... I mean, we don't actually specify, so we'll let the federal government make its own decisions later when its outside of public scrutiny and... oh yeah, of course we want the NSA to have access to the data, because they're "the gold-standard."

That's not going to put the privacy concerns to rest, now, is it? Rogers' problem is that he's pretending that privacy critics are saying this is an ongoing "surveillance" bill, rather than one where the NSA can get access to private data. As far as I know, none of the privacy groups protesting CISPA have made that claim of it being a surveillance bill. They're just worried about how CISPA destroys (literally, wipes out) any privacy protections for companies handing private info over to the government. Basically, the end of his statement exactly confirms the concerns raised by privacy advocates, even as he pretends that it disproves them. Incredible.

Meanwhile, aren't reporters supposed to push back on bogus claims from politicians, rather than just restating them as fact? *Sigh*

Separately, Rogers' own statements contradict that "fact vs. myth" statement that his staff put out. In that statement, the House Intelligence Committee argue that there aren't any problems with "broad" definitions in the bill. And yet, here he clearly talks about how they're "agnostic" on how the program plays out. That's exactly the kind of "broad" issues that people are concerned about.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Christopher Best (profile), Apr 10th, 2013 @ 12:41pm

    Charlie Murphy's Real Washington Stories

    Mike Rogers: See, I never just did things just to do them. Come on, what am I gonna do? Just all of a sudden jump up and give your data to the NSA like itís something to do? Come on. I had a little more sense than that. [short pause] Yeah, I remember saying the NSA could have your data...

    Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    he is doing what all politicians do best, lying and bull shitting! if there is anything else that a politician does, that is actually worth doing, please tell. the things they are in office to do, ie, look after the interests of the people as opposed to enhancing the powers of the government to minimalise, reduce or even squash freedoms etc, seem to be bottom of the list. is it any wonder that politicians in general are despised and untrusted members of the community?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    droozilla (profile), Apr 10th, 2013 @ 2:00pm

    The sad truth.

    "Meanwhile, aren't reporters supposed to push back on bogus claims from politicians, rather than just restating them as fact?"

    Sure they are. But then they lose their jobs, and have any such reporting mysteriously find it's way into the round filing cabinet on the floor.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2013 @ 2:44pm

    Why do the media elite, government officials, think tank diplodinks, and others go off to retreats where there is formidable security?
    What things are discussed there?
    Why do policy shifts happen right after these meetings?
    When these questions are answered you will find the reason why the media never questions the government.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Digdug (profile), Apr 10th, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    Re: The sad truth.

    Is it sad that I trust print and TV news about as far as I can throw their buildings? You can throw anything told to me by my own government (actually anyone's government) onto that pile while you're at it. *sigh*

    Granted, I take all news I didn't witness with a grain of salt (even here) but some folks seem to go out of their way to turn that grain into a whole pile.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Wolfy, Apr 10th, 2013 @ 2:50pm

    Rogers is an Hoover era cadre-trained FBI guy. What else would one expect of him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    gorehound (profile), Apr 10th, 2013 @ 2:52pm

    Politicians are selling out the Nation for a Donation they get from a DOD Contractor.......Or Politicians bringing us closer to 1984 Reality.
    These guys in Washington are some of the biggest assholes I have ever seen.
    They can all eat fucking shit !

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Digdug (profile), Apr 10th, 2013 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: The sad truth.

    I'm reminded of the current slogan of the Syfy channel in the US. "Question everything." It seems like such an enlightened slogan from a team of TV marketers doesn't it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2013 @ 3:03pm


    No, the politicians are bought into office and they have to be accountable to their shareholders. They start out by laying their own line and asking for money for it. Afterwards they evaluate how much money they got by having those opinions and start to optimise their opinions.

    "the people" is another word for contributors.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Apr 10th, 2013 @ 9:53pm

    I, For One...

    I thought that the New Insect Overlords had already indoctrinated all mainstream news. The broadcast three and CNN were tamed by the Bush admin soon after 9/11, and since then only special news sites (like this one) will release briefs not yet cleared by Minitrue.

    Though maybe TD is merely an authorized leak?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Ninja (profile), Apr 11th, 2013 @ 5:48am

    It's hard to maintain coherence and cohesion when you are lying and hiding the true purposes of your actions eh?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    The Real Michael, Apr 11th, 2013 @ 5:55am


    The established media, i.e. Fox, MSNBC, CNN, etc., is subservient to government and big business interests.

    CISPA isn't about 'cyber-security,' it's about circumventing laws, including Constitutional law, in order to extract data from websites without obtaining a warrant.

    The Government: 1
    The People: 0

    So much for being public servants.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    Shon Gale (profile), Apr 11th, 2013 @ 8:04am

    Who are these guys! Everywhere I turn I smell Communism. Not Democracy. Is it because we owe China so much money we are now becoming a Communist Country? Only Communists monitor and censor their citizens. Where's McCarthy now that we need him? Stamp out Communism on the internet. Stamp out Communism in the US government.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), Apr 11th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    The price of freedom...

    Everywhere I turn I smell Communism. Not Democracy. Is it because we owe China so much money we are now becoming a Communist Country?

    No. That's because the responsibility falls on us, the people, to weigh measures critically, and monitor our constituents and to raise Hell when they do things that are stupid. Government by the people means we have to govern. And when we decided to elect lesser evils and let them do the work and research (which they clearly don't), our representatives ceased being representatives of the people. Now they represent those who finance their elections.

    Consider how many birthers we still have in the US, or those who think Obama's greatest crime is that he's a Muslim. Do you think they are doing their fair share getting informed and calling their representatives?

    Only Communists monitor and censor their citizens.

    Any government who distrusts their citizens will seek to monitor them for subversives. Fascist Germany was notoriously anti-Soviet and anti-Communism yet monitored their citizens ruthlessly.

    And Imperial Spain was still a monarchy when everyone was duly watching for those who'd cringe or refuse to eat pork, lest a Jew remained in their midst.

    There's a saying in the responder sectors (fire, police, etc.) Before there was a rule there was a problem. And our Fourth Amendment protections didn't come from whole cloth. Those were in the Bill of Rights because British Parliament was already well known for their abuse of inquisitional authority. While England was officially a monarchy, it was diffusion of responsibility within is representative branch that was being abusive of its power.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Gav, Apr 14th, 2013 @ 3:34am

    Re: Shon Gale

    You seem to have confused Communism with one of the other -isms, perhaps Despotism or Fascism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    Tymon (profile), Apr 14th, 2013 @ 5:57pm

    Could someone please tell me, how this law would actually protect our businesses and people from 'cyber attacks' in the first place? Let's see... Chinese hackers... Which means they are from China... I do not think China would extradite a Chinese hacker for prosecution under US law, even if CISPA does pass. In the end, this law simply will give the government legal rights to spy upon it's own citizen's online behavior, and not protect our businesses from the actual threats. Let's face it, the majority of cyber attacks would be conducted from countries in which the United States has no jurisdiction or extradition treaty. If anything, they would be coming from people sponsored by the very governments of said countries. The USA is a rather big target for a lot of nations across the world. This law would only screw over our own citizens, it would not 'protect' us or our businesses. The United States and it's people seem to forget that their laws only apply to their own country, and the internet is global. There are a lot of countries that do not like the United States. All a hacker has to do, is go into one of those countries to try to hack stuff, and, they are untouchable under any law the USA makes. This law is nothing more than anti-privacy that screws over Americans. Do not buy into the rhetoric that it is for protection.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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