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CISPA Rushed to Passage

April 27, 2012 - by Donny Shaw

In a snap vote last night, the House of Representatives passed the controversial Cyberintelligence Sharing and Protection Act, more commonly known as CISPA. The final roll call was 248-168, with most of the Republicans voting in favor and most of the Democrats voting against.

According to the bill’s supporters, the idea is to make it easier for corporations and the government to share information about potential cybersecurity issues. But the bill’s text goes much farther than that. It would allow web companies to share virtually any information about their users with the government, without a court order. No prior privacy laws would apply.

Before the bill passed, an amendment was added to expand how the government can use shared information. Mike Masnick at the Tech Dirt blog explains:

Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for “cybersecurity” or “national security” purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.

Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a “cybersecurity crime”. Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government’s power.

The bill is under a veto threat from the White House, and the bill fell short of the 2/3rds majority that would be needed for an override. It’s unclear whether the Senate will be taking up the bill or if the bill’s supporters will try to amend it to get the Administration to back off its veto threat.

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Comments

  • jcolley 04/27/2012 1:37pm

    oHHHH SO SCARED!!!! LOL pLEASE, we STATE THAT THE ENTIRE HUMAN POPULATION SHOULD POST/STREAM/PIRATE/AND RIPOFF ALL “COPY-WRITTEN MATERIAL” together! LET THEM TRY TO THROW US INTO THEIR CAMPS FOR SHARING THE MIND CONTROL ENTERTAINMENT THEY’VE CONTROLLED US WITH FOR SO LONG! When they fine us, we do not paY! (sOrry bout thee s-cap-z!) DISPOSE OF their human/child sacrificial Hierarchical Roman laws NOW!

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    biercenator 04/29/2012 3:58am

    Please don’t shout.

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    zapeter 05/01/2012 8:52am

    I think I get the gist of what you were trying to say there. Would you mind being a bit more coherent though? Nobody is going to take anyone seriously, let alone someone opposed to a particularly dangerous bit of legislation, if they can’t understand the arguments being presented.

  • ChaimEliyahu 04/27/2012 5:59pm

    I was just checking out the Democrats who voted for this piece of sh — er, shabby legislation, and am confused. For example John Garamendi of CA voted for it (!), and OpenCongress indicated this was a vote with the Party — and yet 140 Democrats (most of them) voted against. Why the anomaly?

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    ChaimEliyahu 04/27/2012 6:06pm

    I see that that now has changed: thanks!

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  • qwert 04/27/2012 10:13pm

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  • timonj 04/27/2012 11:13pm

    Bug Report

    When I click on “Actions”, to go the Actions page I get this error message:

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  • jmccabeVA 04/28/2012 6:39pm

    CNN’s crappy journalism fails to mention why the president would veto. Thank you openContress for showing how unconstitutional this bill is. The media really needs to get back to sound journalistic reporting. Maybe if someone one their team actually read the bill, they would have something newsworthy to report.

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  • AustinCarpetCleaning 06/06/2012 5:14pm

    I defiantly didn’t want to see CISPA get passed. I think will effect my Atlanta Roofing and others like it.

  • AmaznDreemz 06/15/2012 2:34pm

    Dear Congress, I am a constituent of Senator Lindsay Graham in South Carolina, from whom I just received a letter,(standard issue).I think I represent most of American Citizens when I say that I am very upset with you whom supposedly represent “The People”. I, along with many other American Citizens believe that our so-called Representatives are no longer representing “The People”. They now represent ONLY the Corporations! Which is why,I will refer to you as “Corporatist” Congress! Be warned that “The People” are watching and we see how the Constitution has been trashed in order for you, “Corporatist” Congress to do as you please. “The People” will not be patient much longer, before we will have to issue a “Proclamation”,to every one of you sitting in Congress and profiting from the lobbying Corporations, that"We The People" will be forced to remove you all from office. So, think about this my dear Congress, and do what is right.Remove(CISPA)NOW.

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