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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What does CISPA do? Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Read On)

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

CISPA would "waive every single privacy law ever enacted in the name of cybersecurity," Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat and onetime Web entrepreneur, said during the debate. "Allowing the military and NSA to spy on Americans on American soil goes against every principle this country was founded on."

Q: What does CISPA do? Let the National Security Agency spy on Americans?

CISPA wouldn't formally grant the NSA or Homeland Security any additional surveillance authority. But it would usher in a new era of information sharing between companies and government agencies -- with limited oversight and privacy safeguards. Q: Why is CISPA so controversial?

What sparked significant privacy worries is the section of CISPA that says "notwithstanding any other provision of law," companies may share information "with any other entity, including the federal government." It doesn't, however, require them to do so.

By including the word "notwithstanding," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) intended to make CISPA trump all existing federal and state civil and criminal laws. (It's so broad that the non-partisan Congressional Research Service once warned that using the term in legislation may "have unforeseen consequences for both existing and future laws.")

"Notwithstanding" would trump wiretap laws, Web companies' privacy policies, gun laws, educational record laws, census data, medical records, and other statutes that protect information, warns the ACLU's Richardson: "For cybersecurity purposes, all of those entities can turn over that information to the federal government."

CISPA's authorization for information sharing extends far beyond Web companies and social networks. It would also apply to Internet service providers, including ones that already have an intimate relationship with Washington officialdom. Large companies including AT&T and Verizon handed billions of customer records to the NSA; only Qwest refused to participate. Verizon turned over customer data to the FBI without court orders. An AT&T whistleblower accused the company of illegally opening its network to the NSA, a practice that the U.S. Congress retroactively made legal in 2008.

Q: What's the argument for enacting it?

A position paper on CISPA from Reps. Rogers and Ruppersberger says their bill is necessary to deal with threats from China and Russia and that it "protects privacy by prohibiting the government from requiring private sector entities to provide information." In addition, they stress that "no new authorities are granted to the Department of Defense or the intelligence community to direct private or public sector cybersecurity efforts."

(All this does is give the federal government more power to know everything you do and why. It is nothing but another false flag of a possible threat like the "war on terror". This "law" only takes more of your freedom away. If you have noticed almost all of the "laws" congress passes takes more of you freedom away.

If you just accept that the government knows what it is doing and there is no need to question this legislation you again are not using you critical thinking because it has been turned off. We are gulag bound!)
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