Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Security The Internet United States Your Rights Online Politics

New Cyber Security Bills Open Door To Gov't, Corporate Abuse 93

Posted by timothy
from the concentrated-incentives-diffuse-objections dept.
Gunkerty Jeb writes with a selection from Threatpost about upcoming legislation to watch out for: "EFF looked at two bills making their way through Congress: The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 2105), sponsored by Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) of Connecticut and the Secure IT Act (S. 2151), sponsored by Senator John McCain (R-AZ). The digital rights group claims that the quality of both bills ranges from 'downright terrible' to 'appropriately intentioned.' Each, however, is conceptually similar and flawed, EFF said."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Cyber Security Bills Open Door To Gov't, Corporate Abuse

Comments Filter:
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:35AM (#39461047)

    Something's wrong here... we're getting far to many new copyright powers laws being proposed in Congress, and this sort of nonsense is supposed to be dead in committee and not brought to the floors. Is Hollywood sending too much money to Congress and we're not sending enough?

    • by Immostlyharmless (1311531) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:46AM (#39461105)
      No, the reason there are so many sponsors of this sort of crap, is that its ripe for (ab)use by our elected officials to silence critical voices. In other words, they are drooling over this because it will help them stay in their cushy jobs that we pay for with absolutely no checks and balances or voices to tell us what they are up to.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        No, the reason there are so many sponsors of this sort of crap, is that its ripe for (ab)use by our elected officials to silence critical voices.

        Could you explain which provisions of these laws would "silence critical voices"?

        From what I've just read, it looks pretty much like a bunch of laws protecting specific corporate interests and giving too much power to police to protect specific corporate interests.

        Maybe you're seeing an aspect to these bills that I'm missing, so I'm hoping you can explain specifica

        • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Saturday March 24, 2012 @06:23PM (#39463103) Journal

          Try these excerpts from the article:

          "In an e-mail conversation with Threatpost, Auerbach of EFF characterized the bills as âoealarming.â Of particular concern: a section in both the Lieberman bill and the McCain bills that authorizes monitoring by private firms of any traffic that transits their networks. Ostensibly intended to facilitate private-public information sharing, the passage would grant complete private sector immunity for data monitoring and sharing practices. Private entities would be unbound from the Wiretap Act and other legal limits and immunized against a swath of questionable monitoring practices, EFF claims.

          Furthermore, Auerbach and Tien worry that the bills' definition of a "cyber security threat" is too broad, and could cover everything from stealing passwords from a secure government server to scanning a network for software vulnerabilities. Similarly, the bills calls for more ISP traffic analysis and monitoring could bring about more civil liberties violations. For example, ISPs could simply block Tor, cryptographic protocols, or traffic on certain ports under the guise of defensive countermeasures, the EFF speculated."

          So given our new over-reaching governments, it's not hard to see how those kinds of measures then later get warped out of control even more than they already are.

          • by jc42 (318812)

            For example, ISPs could simply block ... cryptographic protocols... under the guise of defensive countermeasures ...

            In simpler words, they want to block our use of encrypted login names, account numbers and passwords.

            It might be interesting to know how the major banks are lobbying in this case. If the public comes to understand that their account information can be harvested by their ISP and other companies that provide the "wires", smart people will simply stop using electronic banking.

            The companies pushing for such clauses certainly understand what clauses like the above mean, and they've included it so that they

            • by PopeRatzo (965947)

              It might be interesting to know how the major banks are lobbying in this case. If the public comes to understand that their account information can be harvested by their ISP and other companies that provide the "wires", smart people will simply stop using electronic banking.

              Sure, that would hurt all sorts of online commerce. And since, in their view, the entire purpose of the Internet is commerce, it's going to be a big problem.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947)

            I get it. Once you take away the ability to encrypt, you take away the ability to be anonymous, too. That would certainly kill a lot of speech.

            It would also kill a lot of commerce though. Once again, it sounds like legislation that has not been well thought out.

            • That's one reason I keep calling this stuff "Social Division by Zero". They can just keep carving out slices of the pie to "allow encryption for commercial details but outlaw encryption for free speech". Once you get swindled by the "Fridge Logic" (see TV Tropes) then free speech law will start to be like the US Tax Code. (Which, while nasty, makes its own scary brand of internally consistent sense.)

              And better bet that the big corps will just buy "Speech Licenses" to be exempt anyway.

    • by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:49AM (#39461131)
      I'm going to petition Congress to roll all of these types of bills into one all-encompassing bill: the Secure Homeland Information Technology & Transactions? Yes! Act
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Anything that goes mainstream gets regulated to death
      Internet is the new casualtiy

    • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @12:04PM (#39461205)

      ObamaRomney's Top Donators:. They are just paying back the media companies to say "thank you". Oh and "Here's your copyright law to protect your old-fashioned cable or media business."

      A bunch of banks plus:
      University of California $1,648,685
      Harvard University $878,164
      Microsoft Corp $852,167
      Google Inc $814,540
      ---> Time Warner $624,618
      Sidley Austin LLP $600,298
      Stanford University $595,716
      ---> National Amusements Inc $563,798
      WilmerHale LLP $550,668
      Columbia University $547,852
      --> Skadden, Arps et al $543,539
      UBS AG $532,674
      IBM Corp $532,372
      ---> General Electric $529,855
      US Government $513,308
      Morgan Stanley $512,232
      Latham & Watkins $503,295

      If this list was longer we'd probably see donations from Verizon, Comcast, Sony, MGM, RIAA, and MPAA.

      • by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @01:21PM (#39461597)

        Obama has raised around $750M over the course of his political career, primarily from small (less than $4000) donations. Only about 0.3% of that came from those companies you highlighted, which, I might add, aren't all media companies. Skadden et al is a law firm that specializes in mergers and acquisitions... they may do some copyright law for all I know, but it's hardly a major business for them. GE sold NBC to Comcast a while back, so they aren't a media company anymore.

        Furthermore, I don't think you understand what those numbers (which I assume you got from Open Secrets) mean. If you were to pick up the phone right now and call the DNC and give them a donation for $300, a few things would happen. First, they would take your name, number, and address, so that they could ask for more donations in the future. Second, they would take your job title and employer, so it could be reported on their financial disclosure forms. So let's say that you end up giving $600 a year for four years, and that you work for Widgets, Inc. That would mean that sites like Open Secrets would now show "Widgets, Inc" as having donated an additional $2400 to the DNC. If a hundred of your coworkers (out of the thousands that the company employs) do the same, it will look like Widgets, Inc has paid $240,000 to the DNC, and people would get on Slashdot demanding to know what widget-favoring laws are being passed in response.

        But even setting that aside, even if we assume that all these donations are coordinated by the business in exchange for favors, do you really think that providing 0.3% of the presidents's money is enough to buy him off? Sorry to be so blunt, but that's stupid.

        These laws are happening because politicians don't have a good understanding of the issues. Or maybe they're happening because the politicians legitimately disagree with you. But they are NOT being bought, and you do a disservice to our democracy when you throw that accusation around so loosely.

        • The media companies need not pay the politicians, they are ones controlling, well, the media. They get to control public opinion of these politicians, which more than enough to get politicians to pass laws they like.

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          Wow. Somebody who's been dupped into believing the Republican and Democrat presidents are good.

          Why don't we ask the 1 million+ innocent men, women, and children that Bush and Obama have killed, and see what they think? You DO realize that Obamacare is just a giant gift to the insurance companies, giving them ~40 million new customers by mandating those uninsured persons MUST buy insurance (no wonder insurance stocks went UP after obamacare passed). Yeah he's in the pocket of the corporations. There's no

      • Oh yeah. McCain is sure the first one to call for a bill that panders to those that sponsored Obama. I guess the message is "No hard feelings, even though you pumped your money into my opponent instead of me".

      • by Thing 1 (178996)

        US Government $513,308

        That's a little ... freakish. My tax dollars hard at work!

    • I say we just keep letting the entertainment industry eat itself to death from within. That is all that will come of this in the end. It's just autocannibalism at its best.

      When they can come up with reasonably priced ticket sales, DVD/BD and CD media sales and streaming, they will thrive. As it is, they are seemingly only trying to make more and more money by suing individuals, who can't pay it anyhow, to try and recoup their ridiculous legal costs. They are a cancer unto themselves.

      So, let the beast
    • by 7-Vodka (195504) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @12:42PM (#39461361) Journal
      It's not about copyright. It's about the police state that they are creating.
      1. Protesting is now a fellony
      2. Martial law is both sort of here and can be declared without any emergency
      3. habias corpus is history
      4. due process is history, apparently just having any kind of process is now due process
      5. The US government claims the right to assassinate any of it's citizens, anywhere on the planet at any time of their chosing
      6. The executive branch claims they no longer need congress' approval on any war related matters, they would rather just take orders from the UN
      7. Every branch of government is now spying on you without any sort of oversight and in every possible way they can think up
      8. The "TSA" now has roving checkpoints on roads and transportation hubs within the US
      9. The so called "Free speech zones" cover only a tiny percentage of American citizens.
      10. we're in a war against a tactic, designed to never end
      11. elections are openly stolen and not covered by mainstream media
      12. Mainstream media is completely controlled now by crony capitalists and especially intelligence services, that takeover started in the 60's.
      13. Many hard working citizens routinely pay a combined tax rate (Fed, state, sales, etc) of over 60%. This is catallaxy choking, slavery level taxation. In the history of slavery, educated slaves have often paid 50% tax rates to their masters.
      14. The constitution is being taken to a dark room and violently sodomized
      15. The faction of power that killed JFK has been in power every since, making every effort to become supreme leaders
      16. presidents since JFK and nixon have been a mixture of puppets and high level darknet power-hungry secret society ranking members.
      17. The people have lost control of their money. 50% of EVERY transaction that takes place is now the FIAT decree of unaccountable masters

      With all of this going on, you thought that you would be allowed to keep you free press, right to assembly, free speech and communications on the internet?
      That's pretty fucking naive. Slaves don't get to have these freedoms. Only societies that treasure and fight for freedom have them. In these societies everyone is an individual and individual freedoms, regardless of race, religion, wealth or social status are all equal.

    • Yes. I agree. It seems like the armies are massing, and battle lines are being drawn.
    • by forkfail (228161)

      Note that it's LIEberman and McCain sponsoring these... and here I thought that the Democrats were supposed to be the pawns of Hollywood.

      • Note that it's LIEberman and McCain sponsoring these... and here I thought that the Democrats were supposed to be the pawns of Hollywood.

        Lieberman IS a Democrat. He switched to "independent" so he could still run after someone beat him in the Democrat Primary for his seat.

        And McCain is, to put it politely, a slime mold....

        • by forkfail (228161)

          If one defines a Democrat as standing with a Democratic administration or speaking, voting, and in alignment with the Democratic platform ideals, then he is not.

          If one defines a democrat as somebody from Connecticut who needs to be somewhat affiliated with the Democratic Party, then sure, he's a Democrat.

          Of course, I'd say that calling Lieberman a Democrat about as honest as saying that Ted Nugent is a vegetarian...

          • I'm sure Ted has put ketchup on his burgers before. That puts him squarely in the vegetable loving category.

            Lieberman, however, is just a rutabaga.

        • On behalf of every slime mold on this planet I do expect an apology for that unfounded, uncalled for comparison!

    • by moj0joj0 (1119977)

      Is Hollywood sending too much money to Congress and we're not sending enough?

      No, the problem is that money is how voting gets done these days. Those that have more money get more voting power.

      Rather than allowing voices to actually be heard, bank accounts now speak loudest. Until that is changed, democracy in the United States is dead. People advocating funds for lobbyists to stand in opposition to this (and any other proposed laws) are just as guilty as companies funding Congressmen/women.

      There isn't any way to "fix" this problem. This has gone far beyond the point of no return

    • The idea that the MPAA and the RIAA are heading these efforts is really just a distraction. Total revenues of the entire global music industry is somewhere around $30 billion. The total movie industry revenue is higher, at about $87 billion. It's a lot of money, but look at what these bills are doing in detail. Every single one is also designed to limit the consumer market for generic medications and especially to limit (that is, abolish) the ability of US consumers to obtain prescription drugs from non

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        You forget the MPAA and RIAA companies have many things in abundance and these things are more likely to drive egoistic psychopaths and narcissistic politicians.

        Things like pseudo celebrity parties on mega-yachts, island resorts and hotel like mansions. Lots of drugs, including a full range of addictive pharmaceuticals (those plastic surgeons will sign off on any prescription) as well as illegal drugs, I'm talking lots and lots and lots of drugs. Ready to be abused music, movie and TV industry hopefuls,

        • Obviously, you're not familiar with the pharma industry, and have never been visited by a pharma rep or attended any of their hot mess parties.

          Of course lets not forget advertising as news, pure propaganda players like Fox not-News that continually run pretend interviews that are actually political adds for favoured politicians or conversely attack pieces that are even more blatant political adds.

          That's not isolated - it's 99% of all media. Even MacNeil/Lehrer has been 100% scripted for years.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:38AM (#39461065)

    Well, at least the lobbyists bought the sharpest tools in the tool chest.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      You know that you've come of age as an executive when you've given up trading stocks and begun to buy and sell politicians
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:42AM (#39461087)
    There was an old indian prophecy, told after the arrival of the white man in America, shortly after the trail of tears. It was this: "One day, what they have done to us, they will do to each other." This country has a long history of stealing land held by indigenous people, slaughtering them, and relocating the survivors. The next land grab has arrived, except this time, it isn't a fight for physical property, but digital. And just as the fences went up, the land was repurposed, and the environment poisoned in its realworld counterpart, so too must the digital follow.

    Everything must be owned. It is the mantra of capitalism. The first peoples of the internet; the hackers, the academics, the non-profits, are now being rounded up, jailed, or forcibly deported from their homes and off their property to make way for The Man. All of this has happened before. All of this will happen again. Your days of "free" code and believing nobody can own [the internet] are coming to an end. They have guns, they have the support of the government, and this time they won't bother with that non-sense about signing treaties. And future generations will never know a world where ideas couldn't be owned, where knowledge was free, and where anonymity from corporations and governments provided fertile ground for social change.

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:49AM (#39461129)

      the key to our future, as always, is the youth.

      the old guys (my age) are too stuck in their ways and they'll never give up their idea of 'ownership' of internet things.

      what I do worry about is the total lack of CARING on the part of the young people, today.

      they happily sign away their privacy in failbook, give away their emails when any stranger asks and will parade in cow costumes in a mall just to get a 'free' lunch. they do not care! they only see the 'gimme!' side of things. quite blind, actually.

      the culture is at fault. we lead our kids to 'buy buy buy!' and if the retailer offers a tiny discount in exchange for their privacy, they don't care! they saved a whole dollar!

      the blame is on both sides. corp greed AND the consumer who does not see what is being done to them.

      I have zero hope of things improving. but please prove me wrong! I beg you to prove me wrong.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @12:09PM (#39461225)

        >>>what I do worry about is the total lack of CARING on the part of the young people, today.

        That's what I used to think until I started visiting the Ron Paul page and talking to them (almost all 39 and younger). They are not going to let go of "their" internet. They consider it their property and their voice, and the way to fight back against the Corporate-owned NBC, FOX, CNN channels.

      • by forkfail (228161)

        I suspect that before things change, our generation will have to be vilified as having promoted wasteful values in a resource starved environment and allowing power to become so concentrated in the hands of our corporate masters that the people have lost their voice.

        What scares me most, though, is the fact that we are so dependent on our technology and interdependent systems of manufacturing, transportation, food production and all the other bits that go to make up the systems that sustain humanity that if

        • At some point in time people will look back at this time and age and wonder how we let it come to this, how we could be so blind and not see where it is heading. I guess I now understand how my grandparents didn't stand up against Hitler when there was still enough time to.

          I'm in no way better.

      • by digitig (1056110)

        the old guys (my age) are too stuck in their ways and they'll never give up their idea of 'ownership' of internet things.

        Sorry, but those old guys are the very ones who came up with the idea that "internet things" couldn't be owned. And they have given up that idea. Not all of the old guys, of course, just the ones in power, and that's not coincidence. And guess what? I'd lay good money that a whole pile of the idealistic "information has to be free" youth will give give up those ideals too, and that the ones who end up in power will be the ones who gave up those ideals, and that won't be coincidence either.

      • by Opportunist (166417) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @01:55PM (#39461793)

        Our youth is already lost to Facebook, being filed and dissected for their consumerist value, lost in a world where you are what you consume, and you are if you consume, where you do not exist if you do not, or if you cannot. The value of a person is his purchasing power and his willingness to consume.

        I weep for humanity.

        • by tyrus568 (644456)

          Was it ever different? Sure, in the 40's. but in the 50's, teens were using the hula hoop and cruising around drive-thrus, drinking and drag-racing. In the 60's they hung out at parties smoking pot, went to concerts and learned to tie-dye, read the Tarot and Mad magazine. They said that changes were coming, but when they grew up, they became the same businessmen and golf-players that their fathers were. The once-promised ideals in their hearts grew into a giant wave, but eventually that wave crested and fel

          • In the same boat as you are, at a very similar age. But I dare to disagree. I see it as a culture-counter culture swing between generations, and that kinda broke down.

            Every generation of youths tried to defy their parent generation. So you got to see a swing in the youth culture every 20-25 years. A war generation of the 40s with conformity, strife and sacrifice was countered by a peace, love and equality movement mixed with quite a bit of hedonism of the 60s, which in turn was countered by a dog-eat-dog ca

        • by Thing 1 (178996)
          Therefore my "societal" value is close to zero; regardless of the purchasing power I have, my willingness to "consume" is close to zero.
  • Every thing the feds do can be used nefariously, and in time regardless of its original intentions, will be.

    its the nature of a federal government who ignores its rules. ( ie, the Constitution here in the US ), or has none in the first place ( like in several other countries )

    • It's a sad time when you look at countries that have a mostly defunct parliament that cannot get majorities for any new laws, and you envy them.

      • by Thing 1 (178996)
        I've seen the solution described as succinctly as possible in someone's signature: "Vote gridlock."
  • Well, that's just abused.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:55AM (#39461157)

    quoting:

    Of particular concern: a section in both the Lieberman bill and the McCain bills that authorizes monitoring by private firms of any traffic that transits their networks. Ostensibly intended to facilitate private-public information sharing, the passage would grant complete private sector immunity for data monitoring and sharing practices. Private entities would be unbound from the Wiretap Act and other legal limits and immunized against a swath of questionable monitoring practices, EFF claims.

    emph mine.

    THIS is what's going on. and end-run around US laws. since the US has been repeatedly caught with its hands in the cookie jar, it now tries to get some other kid to take the cookies and shift the blame to them.

    sleazy and, yes, fully expected in today's 'government ethics'. ;(

    the government learned it can employ corporations to do its black work.

    nice, huh?

    • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @12:18PM (#39461257)

      Also the government doesn't need a warrant to access the information & data the ISP has obtained. They conveniently skirt-around the 4th amendment by letting the corporation do the spying.

    • by forkfail (228161)

      This gets even more interesting when one considers that the government has become the tool of the corporations; that the center of power is in the boardroom, not in the halls of congress nor in the White House.

      Really, the corporations are allowing themselves to spy for themselves so that the corporation's tools can have the information to impose corporate will and power.

      (No, I don't hate all corporations; what scares me is the concentration of power in the hands of a very few who are not elected. Good thin

  • New Cyber Security Bills Open Door To Gov't, Corporate Abuse

    Sorry, but that door you speak of has been broken down, smashed, and burned for a long time.

    Nobody in power gives a shit anymore, or they're completely ignorant (and, quite possibly, mentally handicapped).

    • by Shavano (2541114)

      This opens new opportunities for abuse. The language is so broad nobody can know whether what they are doing may be construed as illegal.

  • by Dega704 (1454673) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @12:33PM (#39461325)
    More IT bills introduced by an old fart that has flat-out admitted his computer illiteracy. Heaven help us.
  • That stuff like this is obsolete now that nsa and the cia outsourced themselves to facebook?

  • New Government Bill Aimed At Vague Threat Turns Out To Benefit Government, Corporations More Than It Actually Protects You Or Me From Vague Threat

  • I was told during the last election that McCain is rather ill and would probably not survive the term, so I shouldn't vote for him or the dud bombshell gets to be prez. I guess that's another election promise going unfulfilled.

    (just in case you wondered how on earth this could be blamed on Obama)

  • Anyone else notice the freudian slip by Brian Donohue, author of the above linked article?

    With public awareness about cyber legislation high after the dramatic failure of Stop Online PRIVACY Act (SOPA), interest in- and skepticism of new cybersecurity legislation is on the rise.

    Mistaken or on purpose, it is apt.

  • the government is a corporation... the citizens are its employees that's why you are not consulted before wars bailouts or any of the thousands of "illegal" goings on behind the scenes

The tree of research must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of bean counters. -- Alan Kay

Working...