Friday, April 20, 2012

Who's Buying CISPA and Selling Us Out?

Congress is currently considering CISPA – the Cyber Intelligence Sharing & Protection Act – a bill that purports to protect the United States from “cyber threats” but would in fact create a gaping loophole in all existing privacy laws. If CISPA passes, companies could vacuum up huge swaths of data on everyday Internet users and share it with the government without a court order. I oppose CISPA, and I’m calling on Congress to reject any legislation that:
  • Uses dangerously vague language to define the breadth of data that can be shared with the government.
  • Hands the reins of America’s cybersecurity defenses to the NSA, an agency with no transparency and little accountability.
  • Allows data shared with the government to be used for purposes unrelated to cybersecurity.
Join me in opposing this bill by posting this statement on your own page and using this online form to send a letter to Congress against CISPA.

For those who haven't yet read my previous column, here's a brief analysis from CNET. Others can skip ahead to Who's Selling Us Out?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

CISPA Keynotes Cybersecurity Week

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), H.R. 3523, is Congress' most recent incarnation of the SOPA/PIPA battle that the Internet community fought and won handily in January of this year.
Congress is set to act on cybersecurity legislation that has been making its way through committees in both chambers for several years. The House is set to vote on these bills during the week of April 23, dubbed "Cybersecurity Week." The Senate will take action soon after.

The House is expected to kick off Cybersecurity week by taking up HR 3523, a bill sponsored by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.).

The House Intelligence Committee approved the bill in a secret session held one day after the bill was introduced and without a single public hearing on the legislation.

The Rogers bill creates a sweeping "cybersecurity exception" to every single federal and state law, including key privacy laws---the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Wiretap Act, the Privacy Act—allowing private companies holding our private communications to share them with each other, with the National Security Agency (NSA), and with other intelligence and defense agencies, and all other agencies of the federal government.

...under Rogers, once your personal information is in the hands of the government, all bets are off. It can be used for any national security purpose, including to track patterns of communications to decide whether to seek authorization to wiretap you. In can be used to prosecute you for any crime, provided an intelligence agency also finds at least a significant national security or cyber security purpose for the information.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Where in the World is Ron Paul?

... and what's Wolf Blitzer doing in that tire swing?

On April 4, FOX Nation asked "Where in the World is Ron Paul?" They weren't looking very hard. Ron Paul is all over the place, and he's drawing crowds the other Republican candidates only dream about.

Monday, April 16, 2012

White Male Privilege

It must be nice to be a baby boomer heterosexual white man.

During an online discussion about voting, after I sarcastically recommended the lesser of two evils theory, I got this clever non-sequiter dropped in my lap.
It must be nice to be a baby boomer heterosexual white man.
My reply, although pointed, was far too brief.
Actually, it sucks. We can't blame our failures on the inequities in the system and postulate that if only we get the right people into political office they'll fix everything. We have to face the stark reality that the One Percent's idea of "equality" is to destroy the "privileged" middle class so that all the ninety-nine percent are equally disadvantaged and dependent on their largess, rather than removing the roadblocks that allow everyone to compete with those who are politically protected and achieve all they're capable of achieving.

My concept of equality does not mean we're all equally powerless to do anything without permission from the state and grateful for whatever paltry portion of our own efforts they deign to let us keep.