The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Chicken Isn’t Sufficiently Plucked Already (CISPA)

Posted on | April 7, 2012 | 12 Comments

by Smitty

Slashdot links RT, saying that after all the SOPA/PIPA kerfuffle, the Really Smart Folks in Congress have another variation on the theme:

H.R. 3523, a piece of legislation dubbed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA for short), has been created under the guise of being a necessary implement in America’s war against cyberattacks. But the vague verbiage contained within the pages of the paper could allow Congress to circumvent existing exemptions to online privacy laws and essentially monitor, censor and stop any online communication that it considers disruptive to the government or private parties. Critics have already come after CISPA for the capabilities that it will give to seemingly any federal entity that claims it is threatened by online interactions, but unlike the Stop Online Privacy Act and the Protect IP Acts that were discarded on the Capitol Building floor after incredibly successful online campaigns to crush them, widespread recognition of what the latest would-be law will do has yet to surface to the same degree.

According to Open Congress, this bill is sponsored by Michael Rogers, R-MI, and has 106 co-sponsors.

For a quick glance at the bill’s summary, it doesn’t seem especially evil.

And yet, informed geeks like the Electronic Frontier Foundation are less than excited (emphasis original):

would let companies spy on users and share private information with the federal government and other companies with near-total immunity from civil and criminal liability. It effectively creates a “cybersecurity” exemption to all existing laws.
There are almost no restrictions on what can be collected and how it can be used, provided a company can claim it was motivated by “cybersecurity purposes.” That means a company like Google, Facebook, Twitter, or AT&T could intercept your emails and text messages, send copies to one another and to the government, and modify those communications or prevent them from reaching their destination if it fits into their plan to stop cybersecurity threats.
Worst of all, the stated definition of “cybersecurity” is so broad, it leaves the door open to censor any speech that a company believes would “degrade the network.” The bill specifically mentions that cybersecurity can include protecting against the “theft or misappropriation of private or government information” including “intellectual property.” Such sweeping language would give companies and the government new powers to monitor and censor communications for copyright infringement. It could also be a powerful weapon to use against whistleblower websites like WikiLeaks.

Fortunately, there is no way this legislation could ever go pear-shaped, and lead to some Orwellian hell online. I mean, look at the fantastic job those guys are doing balancing the budget and making sure we don’t drown in debt? What could possibly go wrong?


12 Responses to “Chicken Isn’t Sufficiently Plucked Already (CISPA)”

  1. The Political Hat
    April 7th, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

    NRO fired Derbyshire

    More here:

    Any news on Derbyshire’s reaction?

  2. Rich Lowry’s Editorial Impotence? : The Other McCain
    April 7th, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

    […] us to think the real problem in American race relations is John Derbyshire.UPDATE VI (Smitty): via The Political Hat, it looks like NRO has parted ways with Derbyshire:His latest provocation, in a webzine, lurches […]

  3. Adjoran
    April 7th, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

    This is the same pig wearing a different suit.  It needs to be beaten just like the other incarnations.

  4. Adjoran
    April 7th, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

    OT – Robert Costa is reporting Santorum has cancelled campaign activity for Monday.  There weren’t any public events on the schedule, but he’s not going to be working the phones, either – he and the family will be at the hospital with Bella.

    Doesn’t sound very hopeful.  Continuing prayers for her, and them.

  5. AnonymousDrivel
    April 7th, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

    So  “everyone” gets outrageously outraged over Derbyshire’s opinion column based on his anecdotal life experiences while an apparent freedom-crusher like Michael Rogers and his peers, people who actually have power and State authority, advance tangible shackling of our lives to a different set of masters.

    Well done, America. We’re looking into the abyss and concluding, “You know, it doesn’t really look all that bad. If I squint and tilt my head, I think I see a rainbow.”

  6. AnonymousDrivel
    April 7th, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

    Meanwhile, Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Gallahad of NRO has disabled commenting for his statements WRT the firing of his longtime colleague and contributor.

    I’m shocked, shocked! at his response.

    If you’re ever in a vicious cockfight with Lowry at your side, make sure you have your head on a swivel. It may well be Lowry who castrates you.

  7. Adobe_Walls
    April 7th, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

    The guys just don’t get it do they. They just keep kicking the dog that doesn’t bite.

  8. Adobe_Walls
    April 7th, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    Even the unicorns are sick of rainbows.

  9. AnonymousDrivel
    April 7th, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

    Also, unicorns are wise enough to back away from the abyss. I would welcome our new Unicorn Overlords at this point.

  10. Adjoran
    April 7th, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

     That’s because they don’t know how to make them correctly:

  11. Bob Belvedere
    April 9th, 2012 @ 8:58 am

    Rick Lowry Is A Coward.

  12. Bob Belvedere
    April 9th, 2012 @ 8:58 am