CISPA Passes House; Carney Votes With Darkside

Filed in National by on April 27, 2012

House Speaker Boehner rushed through the CISPA bill late Thursday and it passed.. And what could only be considered a major disappointment is that not only did John Carney vote with the Republicans in its passage, Carney voted to curtail our rights.Techdirt 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.

Somehow, incredibly, this was described as limiting CISPA, but it accomplishes the exact opposite. This is very, very bad.

There were some good amendments adopted too—clarifying some definitions, including the fact that merely violating a TOS does not constitute unauthorized network access—but frankly none of them matter in the light of this change. CISPA is now a completely unsupportable bill that rewrites (and effectively eliminates) all privacy laws for any situation that involves a computer. Far from the defense against malevolent foreign entities that the bill was described as by its authors, it is now an explicit attack on the freedoms of every American.

Tags: , ,

About the Author ()

A Dad, a husband and a data guru

Comments (10)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Doug Beatty says:

    Do you think Urquhart would have voted for CISPA?

    Privacy is a pretty moot point here in cyberia. But it takes a whole lot of data to comprendez vous all that amigo. We don’t have privacy online dude, it’s a bunch of switches and they’s all on or off and they’s all connected so’s we can LOL k4tz + B k3wl.

    If you want computer privacy don’t connect it to anything, use it inside a shielded room, secure physical access.

    If a man’s not willing to risk ridicule for his opinions under his own name he’s not fit to post – anonymous 😉

  2. puck says:

    The only way to prevent the information from being misused is not to collect it in the first place.

  3. socialistic ben says:

    Well, I personally think that (##############) (#######) (###) (########) because, (######) (##########) (###) (######) (######) a (####) of difference. the only ((#####) of ((######) privacy, but the very (###########) ((#######) GOP.

  4. puck says:

    In geek circles it is said that “child porn” is the root password to the Constitution (or sometimes, “terrorism”).

  5. Dave says:

    I would be interested in understanding what specific provision(s) or ammendements of CISPA is troubling to everyone.

  6. nemski says:


    1. The vaguest of the bill
    2. The fact that data of American citizens would go to the NSA and military

  7. puck says:

    In a nutshell, CISPA would “allow” ISPs to hand customer data to DHS or other agencies without a warrant (currently a warrant is needed under Fourth Amendment rules). Data could be handed over by the gigabyte, whereas now it is one-at-a-time based on probable cause, and requires a warrant.

    I suppose ISPs could refuse to hand over the data. But then they might end up like Joe Nacchio, the former head of Qwest who was the only telecom CEO who refused to participate in an NSA warrantless surveillance program. This was back in 2001, so this is nothing new.

    Let’s be clear, the NSA already has all this information, it just can’t be legally used in court due to the pesky Fourth Amendment. CISPA will clear up that inconvenience.

  8. Dave says:

    I guess I will have to back and reread the bill. I can’t seem to locate where the Director of National Intelligence can employ the information except for national security intelligence purposes. I must have missed something.

  9. kavips says:

    Puck wrote: The only way to prevent the information from being misused is not to collect it in the first place.

    Actually there is a better way. All of us would be upset if someone we loved was blown up and it could have been prevented.

    And, as puck seems to well know, the genie is out of the bottle. If someone wants your info, they can have it…

    So, … the way to make sure the info is only used for proper, fair, and reasonable motives, is to make it prohibitively expensive, so that if someone misuses that information, and a jury agrees to that misuse, that person is ruined, bankrupt, perhaps thrown into debtors prison.. lol…

    Just as sexual innuendos were wiped out of the work place in a matter of 5 years, gigantic fines, or the threat of losing considerable amounts of money, will keep each private gatherer of info, policing themselves to the nth degree to insure that bomb will never go off..

    That is how we can have our cake and eat it too.. Just imagine the outings that would not have taken place 3 years ago if the price tags of $250,000 were attached to each one?

    yep, that is how you handle it. CISPA goes the totally wrong direction.

    As for Carney, is there a single Congressperson who understands the internet?

    Seriously, if all of you didn’t blog, would you be as savvy as you are now? I know I wouldn’t. And that is why Congress is so gullible when they get hooked and reeled in….

    i would nickname Carney a Smallmouth Bass. Well, maybe a white perch? No, I think Smallmouth Bass fits just fine…..