April 26, 2012
Sudden action on CISPA today signals that the House was instructed to pass the legislation despite overwhelming opposition. It was rushed to the floor a day early and quickly brought to a vote with additional amendments.
“Pushing the bill through is bad enough, but what’s worse are the amendments that Rep. Ben Quayle (R – AZ) managed to get added. These amendments make CISPA infinitely worse than it already was,” writes Game Politics.
The amendments converted the supposed “cybersecurity” bill into an outright Big Brother surveillance tool that completely nullifies Fourth Amendment protection online.
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.
Dirty tricks were used to pass CISPA. The legislation allows the national security state to circumvent the Constitution and allow carte blanche surveillance of the internet – from computer networks to private computers and devices to the emerging “internet of things.” Passage of CISPA is a milestone for the high-tech surveillance police state now going in place.
The traitors in Congress threw up a wilted fig leaf to cover their posteriors. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the bill was “needed to prepare for countries like Iran and North Korea so that they don’t do something catastrophic to our networks here in America,” Politico reports, while Speaker of the House John Boehner said the legislation will protect the economy and create jobs.
Rogers’ transparent excuse was is little more than a sick joke considering the fact the U.S. and Israel unleashed the Stuxnet virus on Iran’s computer network. North Korea is a convenient culprit and its ability to attack the United States is seriously in question, especially after another failure to put a satellite in orbit, something the former Soviet Union and the United States did over half a century ago.
Following the defeat of SOPA and PIPA earlier this year, Congress was told to sell CISPA as a bulwark against terrorism. Obama has promised to veto the bill but this remains to be seen and is likely yet another trick.
In December at the last moment Obama signed the NDAA after he said he would veto it. No doubt he will perform the same parlor trick with CISPA.
Call your representatives now and strongly voice your condemnation. Also call your senator and warn him or her that there will be serious repercussions if they vote this monstrosity into law.