The House Passes CISPA ’Cybersecurity Bill’, Boston Bombings Invoked As Reason
2013-04-18 0:00

Compiled by : Red Ice Creations.com






House approves CISPA
By Declan McCullagh | CNet

The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a controversial data-sharing bill that would authorize e-mail and Internet providers to share confidential information with the federal government.

By a 288 to 127 vote today, the House adopted the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, better known as CISPA, which supporters had said was necessary to protect American networks from electronic attacks and intrusions. That signals more support for the bill than it enjoyed last year, when it cleared the House by a narrower margin but died in the Senate. (See CNET’s CISPA FAQ.)

CISPA is "so important to our national security" that it must be adopted, said Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who authored CISPA and heads the House Intelligence committee.

"This is not a surveillance bill," Rogers said during the floor debate. "It does not allow the national security agencies or the Department of Defense or our military ... to monitor our domestic networks."

The discussion now shifts to the Democrat-controlled Senate, which appears unlikely to act on the legislation in the wake of a presidential veto threat earlier this week, and an executive order in January that may reduce the need for new legislation. Today’s House vote, on the other hand, could increase pressure on the Senate to enact some sort of legislation.

Today’s vote left opponents deeply unsatisfied, in large part because privacy-protective amendments were rejected or not permitted to be offered. One unsuccessful amendment (PDF) would have ensured companies’ privacy promises -- including their terms of use and privacy policies -- remained valid and legally enforceable in the future. Another would have curbed police ability to conduct warrantless searches of CISPA-shared data.

CISPA is controversial because it overrules all existing federal and state laws by saying "notwithstanding any other provision of law," including privacy policies and wiretap laws, companies may share cybersecurity-related information "with any other entity, including the federal government." It would not, however, require them to do so.

That language has alarmed dozens of advocacy groups, including the American Library Association, the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Reporters Without Borders, which sent a letter (PDF) to Congress last month opposing CISPA. It says: "CISPA’s information sharing regime allows the transfer of vast amounts of data, including sensitive information like Internet records or the content of e-mails, to any agency in the government." President Obama this week threatened to veto CISPA.

Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, said CISPA remained problematic because there was no requirement that private sector firms remove personal information before sharing it with the federal government, and a civilian agency -- not the military or NSA -- should be in charge of receiving voluntarily shared data.

"The NSA could share data with law enforcement to investigate computer crimes -- which is so broad it includes lying about your age on your Facebook page," said Rep. Hank Johnson, a Georgia Democrat. That’s a reference to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which was used to prosecute the late Aaron Swartz and a Missouri woman accused of lying on her MySpace profile.

[...]

Read the full article at: news.cnet.com





Congressman evokes Boston bombings as reason to pass CISPA
From: RT

[...]“Recent events in Boston demonstrate that we have to come together as Republicans and Democrats” in order to pass a bill that will strengthen national security, McCaul (R-Texas) said Thursday morning.

“In the case of Boston,” said McCaul, “there were real bombs.”

“In this case, they are digital bombs — and these digital bombs are on their way.”

Another lawmaker, Rep. Dan Maffei (D-New York), said CISPA was necessary to protect the US against “independent groups like WikiLeaks,” adding unfounded claims that the whistleblower website is “taking very aggressive measures to hack into” US computer networks.

Other noteworthy statements that came out of this week’s CISPA debate include one quip from Rep. Candice Miller (R-Michigan), who said Wednesday that the bill "helps us fulfill every one of the responsibilities mandated on us by the US Constitution."

“I believe strongly that you should have constitutional concerns about not passing this bill,” said Rep. Miller.

"By supporting CISPA, we move to fulfill our oath” to protect the American people, added Rep. William Enyart (D-Illinois).

As news broke Thursday afternoon that CISPA cleared the House, opponents took to social media to sound out. The EFF responded by saying the House “shamefully” passed, “undermining the privacy of millions of Internet users.”

One popular account associated with the hacktivist group Anonymous wrote:

When Rep. Ruppersberger reintroduced CISPA at the start of this congressional season, he evoked the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to suggest that Congress can and will do whatever is necessary in the wake of another tragedy.

"We don’t do anything well after a significant emotional event,” said Ruppersberger. Should there be a cyberattack on America on par with 9/11, Congress “will get all the bills passed we want,” he said.

Read the full article at: rt.com



CISPA permits police to do warrantless database searches

Amendment was shot down that would have required warrants before police could peruse shared information for any evidence of hundreds of different crimes.

A controversial data-sharing bill being debated today in the U.S. House of Representatives authorizes federal agencies to conduct warrantless searches of information they obtain from e-mail and Internet providers.

Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, proposed a one-sentence amendment (PDF) that would have required the National Security Agency, the FBI, Homeland Security, and other agencies to secure a "warrant obtained in accordance with the Fourth Amendment" before searching a database for evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Grayson complained this morning on Twitter that House Republicans "wouldn’t even allow debate on requiring a warrant before a search."

That’s a reference to a vote this week by the House Rules committee that rejected a series of privacy-protective amendments, meaning they could not be proposed and debated during today’s floor proceedings. Another amendment (PDF) that was rejected would have ensured that companies’ privacy promises -- including their terms of use and privacy policies -- remained valid and legally enforceable in the future.

CISPA is controversial because it overrules all existing federal and state laws by saying "notwithstanding any other provision of law," including privacy policies and wiretap laws, companies may share cybersecurity-related information "with any other entity, including the federal government." It would not, however, require them to do so.

That language has alarmed dozens of advocacy groups, including the American Library Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Reporters Without Borders, which sent a letter (PDF) to Congress last month opposing CISPA. It says: "CISPA’s information-sharing regime allows the transfer of vast amounts of data, including sensitive information like Internet records or the content of e-mails, to any agency in the government." President Obama this week threatened to veto CISPA.

CISPA’s advocates say it’s needed to encourage companies to share more information with the federal government, and to a lesser extent among themselves, especially in the wake of an increasing number of successful and attempted intrusions. A "Myth v. Fact" paper (PDF) prepared by the House Intelligence committee says any claim that "this legislation creates a wide-ranging government surveillance program" is a myth.

Unlike last year’s Stop Online Piracy Act outcry, in which Internet users and civil liberties groups allied with technology companies against Hollywood, no broad alliance exists this time. Companies including AT&T, Comcast, EMC, IBM, Intel, McAfee, Oracle, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon have instead signed on as CISPA supporters.

Because Grayson’s amendment was not permitted, CISPA will allow the federal government to compile a database of information shared by private companies and search that information for possible violations of hundreds, if not thousands, of criminal laws.
Source





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