Is New Cyber Security Bill (CISPA) An End-Run around Privacy Restrictions?

Saturday, April 28, 2012
Legislation intended to combat cyber threats may itself become a threat to civil liberties. On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) by a vote of 248 to 168.
The act would allow Internet companies, from service providers to Facebook, to monitor network traffic and user data (emails, Google searches, etc.) and turn it over to the federal government. The bill also would grant the companies immunity from being liable for disclosing this information to Washington. Supporters of the bill include Microsoft, Facebook, AT&T, Verizon, Oracle, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, AT&T, the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Critics insist CISPA will authorize the government to skirt laws restricting privacy intrusions by “deputizing the tech sector to police the net and share everything,” wrote Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet.
“I think our First and Fourth Amendment rights aren’t being adequately considered,” Anjali Dalal, resident fellow with the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, told AlterNet. “Authorizing private surveillance of everything we do on the Internet with the understanding that government can be a recipient of that surveillance information threatens our right to speak freely, and to be free from unlawful search and seizure.”
Of particular concern is that CISPA authorizes data sharing in cases of “national security,” a term that is not defined and could cover almost any situation the government chooses.
Aides to President Barack Obama say he might veto CISPA if approved as currently written.
Republic Report notes that two government contractors—Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and Sciences Applications International Corporation (SAIC)—have spent heavily to lobby for CISPA’s passage, as have Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. These companies and others stand to gain more work from intelligence agencies if the legislation becomes law.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
How The Expansive Immunity Clauses in CISPA Will Facilitate Abuse of User Privacy (by Mark M. Jaycox and Lee Tien, Electronic Frontier Foundation)

CISPA is the New SOPA (Congressman Ron Paul) 


Rwolf 12 years ago
cispa legislation, will escalate government asset forfeiture cispa the cyber intelligence sharing and protection act if signed into law will allow——the military and nsa warrant-less spying on americans’ confidential electronic communications; any transmitted private information circumventing the fourth amendment. cispa will allow any self-protected cyber entity to share with the feds any person’s private information that might allegedly relate to a cyber threat or crime. considering the u.s. government’s current business relationship with telephone and internet companies, it should be expected the feds would use cispa to gain unprecedented access to lawful americans’ private electronic communications. almost every week news media reports corrupt police arrested for selling drugs, taking bribes and perjury. it is foreseeable that broad provisions in cispa that call for private businesses’ cyber entities to share among themselves and with spy agencies confidential information will open the door for corrupt government, police and entity employees to sell a corporations’ confidential information to its competitors, foreign government and others. cispa provides insufficient safeguards to control disposition of (shared) confidential corporate and client entity information, including confidential information shared by spy agencies with private and government entities derived from spying on americans. ironically government can use cispa to (covertly certify employees) of a government approved certified cyber self-protected entity—to spy on their certified employer; and clients with full immunity from lawsuits if done in good faith. u.s. government is not prohibited from paying a government certified self protected cyber entity or their employee “asset forfeiture commissions” that result from providing government a corporation’s confidential and private client information—that otherwise would require a warrant. the recent house passed cyber security bill overrides the fourth amendment. government may use against americans in criminal, civil and administrative courts (any information) derived from cispa warrant-less internet spying. cispa will open the door for u.s. government spy agencies such as nsa; the fbi; government asset forfeiture contractors, any private entity (to take out of context) any innocent—hastily written email, fax or phone call to allege a crime or violation was committed to cause a person’s arrest, assess fines and or civilly forfeit a business or property. there are more than 350 laws and violations that can subject property to government asset forfeiture. government civil asset forfeiture requires only a civil preponderance of evidence for police to forfeit property, little more than hearsay. cispa (warrant-less electronic surveillance) will enable the u.s. justice department to bypass the fourth amendment, use information extracted from cispa electronic surveillance) of americans’ web server records, internet activity, transmitted emails, faxes, and phone calls to issue subpoenas in hopes of finding evidence or to prosecute citizens for any alleged crime or violation. if the current cispa is signed into law it is problematic federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and private government contractors will want access to prior bush ii nsa and other government illegally obtained electronic records to secure evidence to arrest americans; civilly forfeit their homes, businesses and other assets under title 18usc and other laws. of obvious concern, what happens to fair justice in america if police become dependent on “asset forfeiture” to help pay their salaries and budget operating costs? note: the passed “civil asset forfeiture reform act of 2000” (effectively eliminated) the “five year statue of limitations” for government civil asset forfeiture of property: the statute now runs five years (from the date) police allege they “learned” an asset became subject to forfeiture. if cispa takes affect, allows (no warrant) electronic government surveillance of americans, it is expected cispa will be used by government not only to thwart cyber threats, but to aggressively prosecute americans and businesses for any alleged crime: u.s. government spy and police agencies; quasi government contractors for profit, will relentlessly sift through citizen and businesses’ (government retained internet data), emails and phone communications) to discover possible crimes or civil violations. a corrupt u.s. government administration too easily use cispa no-warrant-seized emails, faxes, internet data and phone call information) to target, blackmail and extort its political opposition; target any citizen, corporation and others in the manner hitler used his nazi passed legislation that permitted no-warrant nazi police searches and seizure of citizens and businesses or to extort support for the nazi fascist government. hitler nazi laws made it possible for the nazis to strong-arm german parliament to pass hitler’s 1933 discriminatory decrees that suspended the constitutional freedoms of german citizens. history shows how that turned out. cispa warrant-less electronic surveillance) has the potential of turning america into a fascist police state.
Sarah Dey 12 years ago
although i hope we can avoid cyber pearl harbor, i don't know if cispa is all that it seems. while there are definite security concerns that need to be taken care of - more of the provisions seem silly and unnecessary stringent. what is more puzzling however is the total lack of response and comments from the silicon valley over this. is this due to the protest fatigue? in fact microsoft was giving its support to cispa all this time [they withdrew support only today]. while working on the we have got tonnes of responses from various customers - of all profiles from all continent which indicate that yes the threat is real. in fact the third world war may be fought in the cyber world. however, its not clear is cispa is the answer that everyone is looking for. can our legislators think of something better and brilliant and that addresses all our concerns?

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