Despite growing resistance to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, CISPA has cleared its first legislative hurdle. But the battle over the widely-criticized information-sharing bill is just heating up.
In an earlier-than-expected vote Thursday evening, the House of Representatives voted 248 to 168 in favor of the bill, which was originally designed to allow more sharing of cybersecurity threat information with government agencies.
The legislation has drawn the ire of legislators, civil liberties groups, security practitioners and professors, and hundreds of thousands of petitioners, who say the bill tramples over users’ privacy rights as it allows Web firms like Google and Facebook to give private users’ information to government agencies irrespective of other laws that protect users’ privacy. “It’s basically a privacy nightmare,” says Trevor Timm, a lawyer and activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “CISPA would allow companies to hand over private data to the government without a warrant, without anonymity, with no judicial review.”
But even before it passed, the House voted to amend the bill to actually allow even more types of private sector information to be shared with government agencies, not merely in matters of cybersecurity or national security, but in the investigation of vaguely defined cybersecurity “crimes,” “protection of individuals from the danger of death or serious bodily harm,” and cases that involve the protection of minors from exploitation.
That statute, which in effect widened the most controversial portion of the bill just hours before it came to a vote, is sure to draw even more heat as the bill works its way through the legislative branch and reaches President Obama’s desk. The president currently backs a bill in the Senate put forward by Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins, designed to increase the cybersecurity regulatory powers of the Department of Homeland security, which has been opposed by the GOP and stalled in the legislature.
The White House came out Wednesday with a strongly-worded statement slamming CISPA and pushing its regulatory approach in a threat to veto CISPA, writing that “cybersecurity and privacy are not mutually exclusive” and calling CISPA an intelligence bill rather than a security bill that treats civilians as subjects of surveillance. (White House watchers have observed, however, that the president’s advisors similarly recommended that he veto the National Defense Authorization Act, which he instead signed into law.)
Regardless, reconciling the House bill in its new, even more controversial form with a Senate version, even as the White House opposes the central thrust of the legislation, will only rekindle the controversy that has grown around CISPA in the last week.
The EFF’s Timm says he sees the House’s early vote on CISPA as an attempt by its author, representative Mike Rogers, to squeeze the bill through before its opposition grew any stronger. “We’ve seen an explosion of a variety of groups and congressmen coming out against the bill,” he says. “As the Senate debates this, it’s good that privacy and civil liberties will be front and center.”
also check out:
Packets of cigarettes will disappear from the shelves of supermarkets in England on Friday and must stay hidden in closed cupboards, out of sight and – the government and campaigners hope – out of mind.
New legislation, aimed at reducing the temptation to smoke for children and young people, will require all large shops and supermarkets to scrap displays at the point of sale. Campaigners argue that these have become more visual, colourful and attractive as bans on other forms of advertising have closed down marketing opportunities for tobacco companies.
Smoking causes around 80,000 preventable deaths each year and costs the UK’s National Health Service $8 billion annually. source
England already has some of the strictest anti-smoking laws in the world. Advertising was banned in 2002, smoking was banned from pubs and restaurants in 2007 and graphic warnings were introduced to cigarette packets the following year. Cigarette vending machines were also outlawed from October last year. source
The Most Powerful Spy Center In the World
Deep in the Utah desert, at the feet of the Wasatch mountain range, is one of the most secret, most guarded, most secure facilities in the world. Here is where everything you say is analyzed to search for security threats against the United States.
(For a list of monitored websites click here)
It’s the National Security Agency’s Utah Data Center, a $2 billion facility that will capture, record and scrutinize every communication in the world, from emails to phone calls to text messages to chats. It willalso crack codes. According to Threat Level, the encryption cracking will be the most powerful in the world, and will help get into “financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications.”
There will be four data rooms, 25,000-square-foot each, full of servers, cooled down by 60,000 tons of machinery and 1.7 million gallons of water per day. The site has its own 65-megawatt electrical substation, as well as backup generators that can power the whole thing for three days, uninterrupted. Just the video security system alone costs more than $10 million.
The Utah data center is the centerpieceof the Global Information Grid, amilitary project that will handle yottabytes of data, an amount so huge that there is no other data unit after it. This center—with every listening post, spy satellite and NSA datacenter connected to it, will make the NSA the most powerful spy agency in the world.
- Leo Tolstoy (via streetphilosophers)
The United States is forging ahead with plans to expand its military power in Asia, with the Philippines and other allies welcoming troops and the Pentagon devoting funds to design cutting-edge weapons.
Despite pressure to curb spending, President Barack Obama has made clear that he will put a top priority on maintaining the US military’s dominant role in East Asia at a time when China is rapidly building its own armed forces.
After two days of talks, senior officials from the United States and the Philippines pledged Friday to enhance security cooperation. The former US colony is locked in increasingly acrimonious disputes with Beijing in the South China Sea.
In Manila, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said the Philippines was looking to doing more joint exercises with the United States as well as having a greater number of US troops rotate through the Southeast Asian country.
The offer comes two months after Obama, on a visit to Australia, announced that the United States would post up to 2,500 Marines in the northern city of Darwin by 2016-17.
The United States also plans to forward-deploy littoral combat ships in Singapore, a longtime US partner with a strategic position.
Such moves are in line with the strategy of US military planners, who want forces to be more agile and closer to potential trouble zones without the costs — both financial and political — of permanent bases.
OBAMA HAS SIGNED THE NDAA INTO LAW!!!! This means that the government can now detain and torture you without a fair trial. This is completely unconstitutional! PLEASE spread the word!! Let everyone know about this!
WAKE THE FUCK UP. WHY DOES NOBODY CARE?!
this scares the shit out of me
are you serious?!
…please say no.
When Police Abuse Surveillance Cameras
The ACLU has portrayed Chicago’s extensive crime camera a system as a $60 million threat to privacy. Turns out Chicago police officers sometimes see the system as a threat to their privacy as well.
In the wee hours of June 13, 2009, a Chicago camera scanning a West Side neighborhood recorded a small, rowdy party taking place in a vacant lot. A young man standing in a nearby yard also comes into focus.
All of a sudden, the camera’s circuitous route is interrupted, diverted back to the party and then pointed at an empty stretch of sidewalk. It stays on that spot for about 10 minutes, and when it returns to its regular rotation we see not one, not 10, but 19 police cars on the street next to the party. In the intervening period, police had arrived in force to break up a fight.
Torri Hamilton, the lawyer of the young man who had been standing in the yard – and was subsequently charged with resisting arrest, though later cleared – says police officers went in with mace and billy clubs to disperse the crowd.
Chicago’s police-run crime cameras require manual control to be diverted from their usual scan. To Hamilton, the re-positioning of this camera, at essentially nothing, suggests the police, after receiving a call about the fight, had diverted the camera so that their use of force would not be recorded.
Apparently, diversions of crime cameras are not uncommon. Along with their recently published study on the effectiveness of crime camera systems, the Urban Institute released a handy guide for officials planning on implementing their own surveillance plan. The authors warned: “cameras may be diverted to another viewable area when an incident occurs and catch little or nothing of the incident itself.”