Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote

Kaye Beach

April 26, 2012

Lankford, Cole Sullivan, Boren, and Lukas all voted for HR 3523. Roll Call

There were 6 Amendments offered in the name of improve privacy protections and some were adopted before final passage of the bill today.   (See below)

As Techdirt points out, some amendments did nothing to improve the bill at all from a privacy perspective.

Summary of Amendments to HR 3523

Techdirt’s take on it;

from the this-is-crazy dept

Up until this afternoon, the final vote on CISPA was supposed to be tomorrow. Then, abruptly, it was moved up today—and the House voted in favor of its passage with a vote of 248-168. But that’s not even the worst part.

The vote followed the debate on amendments, several of which were passed. Among them was an absolutely terrible change (pdf and embedded below—scroll to amendment #6) to the definition of what the government can do with shared information, put forth by Rep. Quayle. Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government’s power, even though it in fact expands it by adding more items to the list of acceptable purposes for which shared information can be used. Even more astonishingly, it passed with a near-unanimous vote. The CISPA that was just approved by the House is much worse than the CISPA being discussed as recently as this morning.

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.

Read more

Here is one bit of good news-The Big Sis Amendment Failed!

Homeland Security Internet monitoring dropped from CISPA

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat, withdraws her amendment to CISPA that would give Homeland Security more Internet-monitoring authority — after CISPA’s author dubbed it “Big Brother.”


The Obama administration, meanwhile, wants Homeland Security Department in charge of domestic cybersecurity, but criticizes the bill for not prioritizing the privacy of U.S. citizens. read more

The Amash Amendment

Among the amendments the House approved was one by Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., that put certain personal information off limits: library, medical and gun sale records, tax returns and education documents.

“I don’t know why the government would want to snoop through library records or tax returns to counter the cybersecurity threat,” Amash said.

The House approved his amendment, 415-0.

Read more

Congressman Tim Griffin writes;

UPDATED Thursday, April 26, 6:30 PM CT:

The House passed CISPA after agreeing to six amendments that strengthen individuals’ privacy rights and directly address the concerns my constituents expressed to me. After careful consideration, I voted for it. You can see how everyone else voted here.

Here are the six amendments to CISPA that were agreed to before passage. I voted for them all.

1) Rogers (MI) Amendment: Makes clear that information already subject to FOIA by law remains subject to FOIA.

2) Quayle Amendment: Amendment to further limit government use of information shared under the bill only to: 1) cybersecurity purposes, 2) investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crimes, 3) protection of individuals from danger of death or serious bodily harm, 4) protection of minors from child pornography or risk of sexual exploitation or serious threats to physical safety, and 5) protection of the national security of the United States.

3) Amash Amendment: Prohibits the federal government from using library records, firearms sales records, and tax returns it receives from private entities under the bill.

4) Mulvaney Amendment #8: Improves anonymization and minimization provisions by providing clear authority to create procedures to protect privacy and civil liberties.

5) Goodlatte Amendment: Improves the definitions in the bill to clarify and narrow the information that can be shared with the government.

6) Mulvaney Amendment #15: Sunsets the provisions of the bill five years after enactment.


2 responses to “Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote

  1. Sigh…

  2. Police Drones Recording Your Conversations; CISPA Spying On Internet Activity To Forfeit Property?

    Police are salivating at the prospect of having drones to spy on lawful citizens. Congress approved 30,000 drones in U.S. Skies. That amounts to 600 drones for every state.

    It is problematic local police will want to use drones to record without warrants, personal conversations inside Americans’ homes and businesses: Consider the House just passed CISPA the recent Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. If passed by the Senate, CISPA will allow—the military and NSA spy agency (warrant-less spying) on Americans’ private Internet electronic Communications by using so-called (Government certified self-protected cyber entities” that may share with NSA your private Internet activity, e.g. emails, faxes, phone calls and confidential transmitted files they believe might relate to a cyber threat or crime (circumventing the Fourth Amendment) with full immunity from lawsuits if done in good faith. CISPA does not clearly define what is an Element; or Self-protected Cyber Entity that could broadly mean anything, e.g. a private computer, local or national network, website, an online service.

    Despite some U.S. cities and counties banning or restricting police using drones to invade citizens’ privacy, local police have a strong financial incentive to call in Federal Drones, (Civil Asset Forfeiture Sharing) that can result from drone surveillance). Should (no-warrant drone surveillance evidence) be allowed in courts circumventing the Fourth Amendment, for example (drones’ recording conversations in private homes and businesses, expect federal and local police civil asset property forfeitures to escalate. Civil asset forfeiture requires only a preponderance of civil evidence for federal government to forfeit property, little more than hearsay: any conversation picked up by a drone inside a home or business, police can take out of context to initiate arrests; or civil asset forfeiture to confiscate a home/business and other assets. Local police now circumvent state laws that require someone be convicted before police can civilly forfeit their property—by turning their investigation over to the Federal Government Agency that can rebate to the referring local police department 80% of assets forfeited. Federal Government is not required to charge anyone with a crime to forfeit property. There are more than 350 laws and violations that can subject property to government asset forfeiture that have nothing to do with illegal drugs.

    CISPA Trojan Horse? CISPA if passed by Congress will allow U.S. Spy and other government agencies to share confidential Internet and other information with Government Certified Self Protected Cyber Entities, Certified Cyber Entity Employees and Elements in both government and private sector to help protect them—against Cyber threats. However—CISPA would allow Government agencies, police and government quasi/contractors (WITHOUT WARRANTS) OR LIABILITY to take out of context—any innocent hastily written email, fax or other Internet activity to allege a crime or violation was committed to cause a person’s arrest, assess fines and or civilly forfeit a business or person’s property. U.S. Government can use CISPA to (certify any cyber entity employee) including employees that work for approved Government certified cyber self-protected entities—to spy on their employers and clients: (CIVIL Asset Forfeiture). U.S. Government is not prohibited from paying any Government Certified Cyber Self Protected Entity or Employee; or Element part of government forfeited assets or other compensation that result from the aforementioned providing U.S. Government a corporation’s or clients’ private/confidential information—that (Now) requires a warrant or court order. U.S. Government currently contracts on a fee/commission-sharing basis with Self Protected Cyber Entities, Elements and Contractors that have security clearances to participate in facilitating arrests and Government asset forfeitures. It is expected U.S. Government, police and private contractor—CIVIL Asset Forfeiture of Americans’ property will greatly escalate if CISPA is passed allowing certified private cyber entities—No Warrant Searches of persons’ and Businesses’ confidential Internet Information that can be turned over to the government, e.g. private emails, faxes, phone and transmitted files for: investigation, prosecution and asset forfeitures circumventing the Fourth Amendment.

    Since CISPA, two additional cyber-security bills have been created in the Senate called, “The Cyber Security Act of 2012” and “SECURE IT Act”. Both bills appear unconstitutional; appear designed to circumvent the Fourth Amendment and public Freedom of Information Requests. The Cyber Security Act of 2012 formally known as S. 2105 was created by Senate Democrats, Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins. Similar to CISPA, the Cyber security Act of 2012 would abolish legal walls that stop Federal government and private companies sharing information.

    The SECURE IT ACT: S. 2151 was introduced by Senate Republicans on March 1st 2012: would (require) federal contractors to alert government about any cyber threats, forcing such communications between government regulators and corporations. The SECURE IT Act authorizes sharing of persons’ private Internet information (without a warrant) going beyond what is necessary to report a believed cyber threat. SECURE It Act fails to create a regulatory system at the Federal level to oversee cyber-security threats opening the door for persons’ and businesses’ confidential information to be misused and misappropriated by government agencies and private sector government certified cyber entities.

    Under CISPA: Government should be prohibited from using so-call (certified self protected cyber entities /employees) and Elements to circumvent the Fourth Amendment; escape Public Freedom of Information Requests. CORRUPTED: Government Certified Self Protected Cyber Entities and Employees, U.S. Government Agencies, Contractors and Police too easily may use someone’s confidential Internet Information, e.g. transmitted files and private emails collected (without warrants) to extort Americans, corporations, politicians; for compensation, target a businesses’ competitor; or sell private information gleaned from warrant-less Internet Surveillance.
    If CISPA is passed allowing NO Warrant private self protected cyber entity spying, some Internet writers and political activists might be dead-meat under NDAA. Americans” who write on the Internet or verbally express an opinion against any entity of U.S. Government or its coalition partners—may under The Defense Authorization Act of 2012—be deemed by U.S. Government (someone likely to engage in, support or provoke violent acts or threaten National Security)— or (Belligerent) to order an American writer or activist’s indefinite prison detention.

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