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Senate Intelligence Committee Approves Dangerous Cybersecurity Bill

from the because-of-course dept

We've written about the Senate's dangerous CIPA bill -- which is Congress' latest (bad) attempt to help increase the NSA-led surveillance state by giving companies blanket immunity if they share private information with the government... all in the name of overhyped "cybersecurity." We, of course, have been through this fight before, with the CISPA bill, which passed in the House a few times, but couldn't get any traction in the Senate. This time around, the (really bad) Senate version passed out of the Senate Intelligence Committee by a 12-3 vote (held in secret, of course). Not surprisingly, two of the three who voted against it are Ron Wyden and Mark Udall.

By now you should know: if Ron Wyden and Mark Udall are against something related to surveillance, you should be against it too (and the opposite is true as well).

The "good" news is that despite the overwhelming support by the NSA's biggest cheerleaders on the rest of the Senate Intelligence Committee, it seems unlikely that the bill will have enough support in the overall Senate. And it will hopefully remain that way. This bill is a dangerous one, that is solely designed to give the NSA and some companies additional legal "cover" for aiding the NSA's surveillance efforts. Thanks to Snowden's revelations, companies are, in general, a lot less willing to do that these days anyway, but giving those companies blanket liability to do so is a bad, bad idea.

And while there's still little to no evidence that the "cybersecurity threat" is anywhere close to as big as what the FUDmongers insist it is, even if that is true, no one has yet explained what laws actually get in the way of having companies share critical cybersecurity information as needed. And, if such laws really do exist, any solution should to just be narrowly focused on fixing those laws, rather than granting broad immunity for sharing just about any info.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    ECA (profile), Jul 9th, 2014 @ 4:34am

    The problem we have here..

    IS a failure to communicate..
    30+ years of computers..
    20 years of OPEN internet..

    And WHO isnt listening to the idiots that understand this stuff.

    CORPS dont want to listen, they want things CHEAP and simple..a computer remote control of EVERYTHING insted of a few HIGHLY paid smart people.(and you wonder why education isnt worth the Cert. its written on)

    Gov. because "YOU DIDNT ELECT SMART PEOPLE FOR THE JOB", you elected Lawyers. but what choice do we have? SMART PEOPLE dont want to be politicians..

    Good Luck..

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2014 @ 4:39am

    Do not connect critical resources to the internet.

    Why is this so difficult to understand?

    Is it because there is lot of money to be made by selling hyped up bullshit?

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

  3. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jul 9th, 2014 @ 4:39am

    The largest threat to our cybersecurity is our own Government.
    The largest terrorist organization is our own Government.

    We literally are paying to be less secure online and in the real world. We fund racists writing manuals that are nothing but xenophobic hate turned into systemic abuses (oh and his revelations about secret Muslims inside the system.).

    Perhaps it is time to pull the fucking emergency brake, and look at the horror being left in the wake of this ill-advised campagin. We need to take the toys away from the children and send them to their rooms to think about what they have done.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2014 @ 5:16am


    I wonder what the history books will say about the US in 50-100 years.
    Will the country still even be around?

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

  5. identicon
    Michael, Jul 9th, 2014 @ 6:08am

    Re: Re:

    I'm pretty sure that books being published in the age of the "Amazon Empire" will refer to the United States as the nation that Jeff Bezos came from and the first one that joined the benevolent empire after seeing how much better life would be for all of it's citizens.

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

  6. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 9th, 2014 @ 7:47am

    No law

    no one has yet explained what laws actually get in the way of having companies share critical cybersecurity information as needed

    As you infer, this is because there are no such laws. What I want to know is this: everyone's so fond of proclaiming that the third party doctrine means the government can just grab any data they wish, what is their argument for why the doctrine utterly fails to allow companies to share critical security information that doesn't even involve anyone's personal data?

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2014 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re:

    It's pretty much everything they screamed about when the Russians were coming (which was a lie) We are Not a free country any longer we are not secure in our homes or personal effects , we are not able to peacefully assemble without law enforcement present. the US is dead in the water what we once were has been ripped away in every aspect of our daily lives by our government and corporations. our flag is black.

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

  8. identicon
    TestPilotDummy, Jul 9th, 2014 @ 8:13am

    Dangerous, but also OATH BREAKING

    4th Amendment.

    They can say whatever BS they want, but I look this way.

    14 years ago there was a Constitution that MATTERED.

    Today, "most" officials seem to not care. All of my officials in California don't care. All I need is a LIST of the officials holding office, and I know who attacked the Constitution. But then it's only a list. No action. How the fsck is unemployed people supposed to hold these millionaires responsible?

    14 years ago, you could drive around with technology, and COPS wouldn't screw with it. Today, Cops seem anal about it. All I need is a LIST of the cops name/illegal search case, and I know who attacked the 4th amendment.

    Yeah this country is in trouble.
    Nothing but lies, Oath breaking, Murder, and TREASON

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

  9. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), Jul 9th, 2014 @ 10:54am


    Do not connect critical resources to the internet.

    Why is this so difficult to understand?

    Because (if it was secure, at least) there are incredible benefits to having those critical resources be connected. Remote monitoring and administration, for example.

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

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2014 @ 11:30am

    Information sharing? Like telling the government and other companies that your business has just been hacked, but not informing customers about the hack until 3 months to half a year later?

    Also, not telling other companies about the hack, because disclosing financial losses to your competitors might put your company at a disadvantage.

    That leaves mandatory disclosures to the government. Is the government going to protect your corporate networks? If so how? Will they be deploying intrusion protection systems and skilled IT technicians to protect your infrastructure? Of course not!

    At most, the government will use the mandatory hacking disclosures in order to launch more hacking allegations towards foreign nations, such as China. How's that been working out? Last I heard China has broke off relations with the US on cyber espionage cooperation, and alleged that the US is a "hacking empire".

    Also, Cisco and IBM are reporting record sales declines for the businesses in the Chinese market.

    Let's recap. With this bill customers and businesses have given up most of their privacy and are facing decreased revenue, in return for no increased revenue or security what so over.

    Sounds like the typical bills coming out of Congress these days. Drafted in ignorance. I guess that makes the Senate Intelligence Committee a oxymoron.

    Here's an idea. Lets take all the money that would be used to setup these information sharing systems, and put it towards education and training. That way America will have the best trained cyber-security workforce on this planet.

    Naaa. Let's share evidence and throw more mud at China while our systems continue to get hacked. Ding ding ding, we have a winner!

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

  11. icon
    ECA (profile), Jul 9th, 2014 @ 1:00pm


    Biggest threat..
    Biggest terrorist??

    The Corporations and the HANDS they have in the government.
    The Corps EXPORT 80% of our crops of Corn and Grains and feed us CRAP..
    Corps PAY farmers to grow, WHAT THEY WANT, and not a commodity that will sell in the USA.. $3 per 100lbs to the farmer for potato, and you end up paying HOW MUCH?? A mark up of over 100 times..

    why is the gov. not WATCHING THE CORPS?? they get paid very well, and NOT BY US..
    IF any employee acted in Any way against the employer, they would be fired.. ARNT we the employer?
    Dont blame 1 person(the president) it TAKES LOTS of people to control this nation..

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2014 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re:

    Incredible benefits to having your critical resources hacked?

    Sorry - I fail to see any benefit in that.

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

  13. icon
    Staff doc (profile), Jul 9th, 2014 @ 7:26pm

    Cybersecurity bill CISA does have major support from the Chamber of Commerce

    I just read you do not think this bill will pass. If you believe that you are on cloud 9. First of all the only reason the Cyber security bill in 2012 did not pass is because the Chamber Of Commerce and Tom Donahue who heads the chamber did not like the fact that unlike CISPA they would be forced to hand over information. Another problem is the Nevada Senator and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has ALWAYS felt Cyber Security is a top priority issue so you can expect this bill S. 2519: National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center Act to come up at the final weeks of July on the Senate Calendar of things to do. Third and this is important: gov.track gives this Senate CISA Cybersecurity bill a 67% chance of approval

    You guys really believe you stopped the 2012 cyber security bill? First of all the bill passed it was just filibustered which means the bill was only temporary stopped BUT IT DUD PASS THE SENATE. this bill does what the House bill and the corporations want which is to be able to give out your information without immunity. The last Cyber Security bill by Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut Democrat had too many privacy amendments. Now the Lieberman is gone, the big girl and NSA loving Senator Feinstein of California ALWAYS WANTED NSA to be cyber head. She now holds the position as the majority Senator on the senate intelligence committee. She is a very good friend of Israel, America's best friend. This bill is a Chamber dream and Senator Reid of Nevada WILL GET THIS BILL VOTED ON BY THE FINAL WEEK OF JANUARY. A new and more Washington friendly internet will come to be and copying and pasting of a New York Times piece under this Cybersecurity bill CISA S.2519 will be considered a Cyber Security threat with plenty of jail time. The old internet will be gone in 2 weeks TIME. Please do not lie to your readers. CISA will pass because it has the blessing of the Chamber of Commerce and Tom Donahue.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 10th, 2014 @ 1:40am

    Re: Re:

    Because (if it was secure, at least) there are incredible benefits to having those critical resources be connected.

    Lets see, electricity companies have rights of way for cables to their remote sites, and all remote sites of gas and water companies. These entities also have rights of way for their pipes into these sites. They could co-operate and build a monitoring and control network that is separate to the Internet.As for railways, they have rights of way, and control systems, and have no need to connect to the Internet, or they could join with the others to build a monitoring and control system.
    For any offices that do not directly attach to these networks, and which need to be connected, get a private wire from the telcos. Critical infra structure should not be directly connected to the Internet, as no matter how good security is, some disgruntled employee will give away access details, and the only protection from this is control over physical access to the system.

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

  15. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 10th, 2014 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re:

    Those incredible benefits can also be had without connecting anything to the internet.

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

  16. identicon
    Jim Anderson, Jul 12th, 2014 @ 5:39pm

    CIPA Tech Companies

    Currently many tech companies are facing serious problems in foreign markets because what their past actions were in sharing data with the US government. CIPA will only make this worse. Does Congress really want to kill off the foreign markets of US tech companies?

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

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