Friday, April 12, 2013

House to vote on CISPA next week despite being horribly flawed after secret committee markup

image credit: DonkeyHotey
Madison Ruppert
Activist Post

Despite the fact that the secret markup of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) left most of the problems unsolved, the House is still slated to vote on the flawed legislation next week, potentially allowing the total destruction of what little online privacy remains.

Unfortunately this is precisely the same situation we were presented with almost a year ago when it was similarly dangerous. Of course CISPA still enjoys massive corporate support as it did last year, according to the International Business Times.

Today Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington Legislative Office pointed out that while CISPA’s sponsors and corporate backers claim “that all privacy and civil liberties problems have been solved,” this is nowhere near the truth.

During the markup process, only three of the four major categories of problems with CISPA were addressed, according to the ACLU.

The fix for the potential of widespread sharing of information under CISPA offered by Rep. Jan Schakowsky failed.

The limiting of the personal information that can be shared under CISPA offered by Rep. Adam Schiff also failed.

While a partial fix for the unlimited immunity offered for “hack backs” under CISPA was offered by Rep. Jim Langevin, it still leaves a lot to be desired.

The only real major problem solved was the lack of protections offered for information after it is shared under CISPA. This was fixed to a large degree by solutions offered by Reps. Jim Himes and Terri Sewell.


Still, the most major problem with CISPA is that it allows far too much highly sensitive personal information to be shared with far too many entities including none other than the National Security Agency. This glaring issue has not been fixed in the slightest.

“Two provisions in the manager’s amendment actually removed protections added to CISPA last year,” according to the ACLU.

“First, Rep. Justin Amash’s (R-Mich.) ban on collecting library, tax, gun, and other records was reversed so that these records are collected pursuant to the privacy and minimization procedures that will apply to all records under the new draft,” Richardson writes.

“Second, the government is no longer banned from ‘affirmatively searching’ through the information collected through CISPA, so long as it does so for an authorized purpose,” according to the ACLU.

The simple fact is that the new CISPA is far too much like the old CISPA, to the point where there is no real meaningful distinction between the two.

As such, some 34 civil liberties groups, including the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation, penned a letter in March expressing their opposition to the bill.

Even after the markup, the ACLU states that they continue to stand against this “overbroad privacy-eviscerating bill.”

“We will support floor amendments to fix the remaining problems and will be looking for your support,” the ACLU states.

Currently, the Obama administration has hinted that they cannot fully support the bill as is, but have not actually threatened a veto as they did in the past.

“We continue to believe that information sharing improvements are essential to effective legislation, but they must include privacy and civil liberties protections, reinforce the roles of civilian and intelligence agencies, and include targeted liability protections,” the National Security Council said, according to the Hill.

The council added that they are seeking to continue to work with the House on CISPA, but a deadline of next Tuesday for members to file amendments to the bill has been set by the House Rules Committee.

“The committee will also meet Tuesday to approve rule for the bill; once a rule is approved, the House will be able to consider the bill on the floor as early as the next day,” according to the Hill.

Since the House is expected to vote on the bill next week, there is little time left to contact members of Congress. Please take a few minutes of your day to contact your Congressional representatives to tell them to vote no on CISPA until the aforementioned problems are actually resolved.

The ACLU is also encouraging Americans to tell Obama to veto CISPA, though it seems that any promise from the Obama administration is just about completely and totally worthless at this point.

If CISPA is signed into law as is, the very little privacy protections enjoyed by Americans online will be completely eliminated.

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This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM - 9 PM PT/10 PM - 12 AM ET. Show page link here: http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com


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