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Government Censorship The Internet United States Your Rights Online

CISPA Bill Obliterates Privacy Laws With Blank Check of Privacy Invasion 192

Posted by timothy
from the also-it-sounds-sinister dept.
MojoKid writes "At present, the government's ability to share data on its citizens is fairly restricted, insomuch as the various agencies must demonstrate cause and need. This has created a somewhat byzantine network of guidelines and laws that must be followed — a morass of red tape that CISPA is intended to cut through. One of the bill's key passages is a provision that gives private companies the right to share cybersecurity data with each other and with the government 'notwithstanding any other provision of law.' The problem with this sort of blank check clause is that, even if the people who write the law have only good intentions, it provides substantial legal cover to others who might not. Further, the core problem with most of the proposed amendments to the bill thus far isn't that they don't provide necessary protections, it's that they seek to bind the length of time the government can keep the data it gathers, or the sorts of people it can't collect data on, rather than protecting citizens as a whole. One proposed amendment, for example, would make it illegal to monitor protesters — but not other groups. It's not hard to see how those seeking to abuse the law could find a workaround — a 'protester' is just a quick arrest away from being considered a 'possible criminal risk.'"
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CISPA Bill Obliterates Privacy Laws With Blank Check of Privacy Invasion

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  • by Tancred (3904) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @03:54PM (#39812173)

    How does surrendering our freedom out of fear match up with our motto?

  • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Thursday April 26, 2012 @03:55PM (#39812181) Journal

    The pace is accelerating.

    We need some kind of Tracking-Data-Armageddon security breach to make the common citizens wake up and realize that we're all just going to stare at each other in a dystopian fishbowl forever while everything just becomes more unfair.

    (Satire)
    That's all I can type now because I used up my monthly ascii character quota on two tweets of data for $99.95.
    (/Satire)

    • Or we could take the insecure, paranoid, governmental, controlling types out back, and put two bullets in their heads. Problem solved.

      I'm not advocating a violent solution here, but it does appear that said people are providing the 'aggression' that most political types speak of in a 'Just War,' and have already violated enough of their own laws not to be taken seriously when they say 'this new law will be limited to {various groups and peoples you do not like}.'

  • by Imrik (148191) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @03:57PM (#39812227) Homepage

    I see this phrase every time this sort of bill comes up where they claim that one group or another won't abuse the law. After some thought, I decided I agreed with their assessment. All this means is that the law is originally intended to be used in that way, if it's the intent of the law, it isn't abuse to use it that way.

  • Resisting Arrest (Score:3, Informative)

    by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @03:57PM (#39812229) Homepage
    It actually happens from time to time (at least in Massachusetts, USA) that a person is charged with one and only one crime, to wit: resisting arrest. I actually know a person to whom this actually happened and he was found guilty. So at least in Massachusetts, they can simply arrest you for resisting arrest. You don't need to commit any actual crime.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Solution: Don't resist arrest. Even if the cop is full of shit, cooperate with him by letting him place handcuffs on you. And then sue him for thousands later. (You don't have to win; you just have to inconvenience the cop as badly as he inconvenienced you.)

      1. Become lawyer
      2. Visit prisons every day
      3. Profit$

      • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @04:24PM (#39812605) Homepage
        Unfortunately I speak from experience. I have been in the right, and stuck up for my rights many times. ... and no, I'm not stupid, but you can bet your ass I am stubborn as hell and outraged that the cops constantly piss on the graves of so many men who valiantly fought for the freedoms they spit on daily.

        It hasn't worked out well even once. What you are proposing doesn't work in the real world. On TV the cops are very careful about following the rules. In reality they believe that the rules are there to use when it is convenient, and ignore when it is not. In the situation you just described the absolute best * that you can hope for is going to court several times over the course of several months followed by a jury trial with a not guilty, at which point a lawyer will tell you with a straight face that - in the eyes of the law - even though you are presumed innocent until and unless convicted, the fact that you were found not guilty does not mean that the court has found you innocent. The charge will appear on your record when an employer runs a background check (in most if not all states.) The person doing the hiring will assume that you were guilty and they just didn't prove it, or at the very least that you must have done something wrong to be arrested.

        * There is an extremely slight chance the case will be dropped, but that almost never happens even when the police report contradicts other provable facts. In one case I had, the DA actually told the cop that what he wrote made it clear I was not guilty, at which point the cop was allowed to file an amended report with the additional lies needed to tie it all up (The car was stuck in a snowbank in the driveway (True) was changed to the car was stuck halfway in the driveway and half way in the street [The lie they needed (TM).]
      • by JohnFen (1641097)

        Solution: Don't resist arrest

        Yeah, but this does nothing about the all-too-common practice cops have of charging someone with resisting arrest because they don't have anything else to charge them with, rather than because they actually resisted arrest.

        • Hmm. Is it possible to be charged with 'resisting arrest' without another charge to justify arresting said person?

        • by tftp (111690)

          If the cops want to arrest you, they will. If you resist you will only make their job easier. Striking against the part of the system that is designed to take those strikes is not practical.

    • by superdave80 (1226592) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @04:05PM (#39812331)

      I'm not sure I see the issue here. An officer can arrest you if he has good cause to (you match the description of a suspect in the area, etc.). This is the original reason you are being arrested. It may later be determined that you didn't commit a crime, and then no charges are filed.

      If, however, you resist this arrest, you are then charged with resisting arrest. Simply because you think you didn't do anything wrong doesn't give you just cause to resist the arresting officer.

      You don't need to commit any actual crime.

      You consider resisting arrest not an 'actual crime'? Are you saying that officers don't have the authority to arrest people?

      • Re:Resisting Arrest (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Moryath (553296) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @04:13PM (#39812453)

        Are you saying that officers don't have the authority to arrest people?

        Officers have authority to arrest people ONLY IF:
        - the officer has seen you commit an offence;
        - someone charges you with having committed an offence and gives an undertaking to prosecute the charge;
        - the officer finds you disturbing the peace;
        - she/he reasonably suspects you have committed or are about to commit an offence or breach of the peace.

        The law also states that you must be told in simple language WHY YOU ARE BEING ARRESTED. Simply having the thug in blue announce "that's it, you're under arrest" is not valid.

        This is lost on most of the right-wing assholes who worship the thugs-in-blue, however.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by medcalf (68293)
          Dude, you have some serious misapprehensions about the right wing. Supporting law enforcement doesn't mean supporting lawbreaking by police or other government agents.
          • Re:Resisting Arrest (Score:5, Interesting)

            by JohnFen (1641097) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @05:08PM (#39813221)

            Dude, you have some serious misapprehensions about the right wing. Supporting law enforcement doesn't mean supporting lawbreaking by police or other government agents.

            In theory, but in practice it does seem to mean exactly that. I wouldn't say that it's unique to conservatives, but to authoritarians. Authoritarians are more likely to be conservatives than liberals, though.

        • by Githaron (2462596)
          +1 How come I never have mod points when there is something worthy of modding up?
        • by RenderSeven (938535) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @04:31PM (#39812705)

          This is lost on most of the right-wing assholes who worship the thugs-in-blue, however.

          I dont know any right-wing assholes that worship the thugs in blue, and Im a right wing asshole. Seriously, why does this always end up being a left/right issue? Maybe left-wing assholes think its OK to abuse right-wing assholes and vice versa, but I'd hazard to say "this is lost on people whose party affiliation is more important than their objectivity' which seems to be just about everyone these days. I was 100% with you until that last sentence sand-bagged any credibility you built up to that point.

        • That is all quite fascinating. What exactly was your point in regards to my original post?

          Simply having the thug in blue announce "that's it, you're under arrest" is not valid.

          Uh, I never said or implied that. In fact:

          An officer can arrest you if he has good cause to...

          I didn't realize I had to waste everyone's time by listing all the valid reasons for an arrest. But, hey, whatever gives you a chance to spout off about... something.

      • Er. Ahh. No. He can't arrest you because he thinks you match someones identity. He can detain you. If a cop has no legal reason to arrest you then you should not be charged with resisting arrest. Period.
        • Er. Ahh. Can you tell me what the difference between detain and arrest is?
          • by Imrik (148191)

            Arrest is what happens when you object to being detained.

            Actually, the difference is when you're detained you have to stay where you are, when you're arrested you go to jail.

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        "Disrupting the peace" is the usual thing the cops hit you with when they can't think of anything else. You may be completely innocent but they'll hit you with that so they can jail or fine you.

        Like when they drug Professor Gates off to jail because he (rightly) was angry at being forced to let cops inside his house in violation of his 4th amendment rights. The professor should have sued the cop and the station, and turned it into a national event to emabrass police everywhere. But no. Instead he caved.

        • Btw do you think the mentally-retarded woman deserved to be beat by cops 3 months ago?

          What... THE HELL?!?!?! How on Earth did you come up with that based on my post?

          How do you compare a lawful arrest with beating somebody?

          Or that the man who recorded with his phone deserved to be drug to jail?

          Where are you coming up with this crap?

          You probably do.

          No. No I do not agree with any of the bat-shit crazy things you just said.

      • Re:Resisting Arrest (Score:4, Informative)

        by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday April 26, 2012 @04:55PM (#39813003) Homepage Journal

        "Simply because you think you didn't do anything wrong doesn't give you just cause to resist the arresting officer."

        Yes, it does. That is what a court is for.

        “When a person, being without fault, is in a place where he has a right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel by force, and if, in the reasonable exercise of his right of self defense, his assailant is killed, he is justified.” Runyan v. State, 57 Ind. 80; Miller v. State, 74 Ind. 1.

        • Re:Resisting Arrest (Score:5, Informative)

          by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday April 26, 2012 @04:56PM (#39813023) Homepage Journal

          Oops, slashdot ate part of my comment.

          To add to that: “These principles apply as well to an officer attempting to make an arrest, who abuses his authority and transcends the bounds thereof by the use of unnecessary force and violence, as they do to a private individual who unlawfully uses such force and violence.” Jones v. State, 26 Tex. App. I; Beaverts v. State, 4 Tex. App. 1 75; Skidmore v. State, 43 Tex. 93, 903.

    • by Moryath (553296)

      It's a cyclical joke at that point. And one of the things the thugs in blue count on. "Resisting arrest" and "disobeying a lawful order" - you can be given an UNlawful order, arrested for "disobeying" it, have "resisting arrest" thrown on for spite.

      Even if you prove the order was UNlawful, they can try to make the "resisting arrest" stand with any number of corrupt judges who are more than willing to set unreasonably high bail, endorse witness tampering under color of law (e.g. witness tampering BY the pros

      • Finally ... someone else with a clue about how it really works. I hope you didn't have to find out the hard way as I did ;-)
    • by Imagix (695350)
      Here's a theory: one can be arrested for a fair number of reasons (such as they have reasonable grounds for suspecting one has committed certain offences). Resisting that arrest is also illegal. So once the person has been arrested, and further investigation has occurred, it may have been determined that the person did not in fact commit the offence (or insufficient evidence, whatever). As a result, there is no charge regarding the original reason why the person was arrested. However, resisting the legal ar
      • by Githaron (2462596)

        So once the person has been arrested, and further investigation has occurred, it may have been determined that the person did not in fact commit the offence (or insufficient evidence, whatever).

        I am pretty sure they are talking about arresting people without reasonable grounds and then charging them for resisting arrest. If a cop cannot even give me a reason why he is arresting me, he has no business arresting me and I definitely have no inclination to cooperate.

        • by X0563511 (793323)

          Yes, you do. Because if you do not, you just handed them a legitimate charge to use.

        • by Imagix (695350)
          That's an assumption that the police didn't have reasonable grounds. All the OP talked about was that it happens that "a person is charged with one and only one crime, to wit: resisting arrest". Nothing about what preceeded that.
      • I agree with everything you wrote except you are missing one point. The correct and just thing to do to someone when you arrest the wrong person is to apologize to them, not try to find a way to make their life miserable.
        • by Imagix (695350)
          Can't say whether the apology is necessary or not as no details about the resisting arrest were not given.
  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @03:58PM (#39812239)

    To not arrest people and throw them in jail for merely speaking (Sedition Acts) or suspected terrorists (round-up of asian-Americans). We said it would never happen again, and yet we are going down that same path (indefinite detainment for mere suspicion).

  • More like blank checkbook with every check autographed and when you run out of checks they automatically mail you more signed checks.

    'notwithstanding any other provision of law.'

    If that's an actual quote from the bill, what the fuck? I mean, aren't laws repealed and modified by further legislation and "provisions of law"? "And this law says you can't ever change this law" sounds like something a two year old would propose ... am I incorrect in assuming that with that sort of clause this bill basically ensures that once it is passed it can never be r

    • That's not what the clause means. It is a clause stating it overwrites any other existing provision that might disallow what it is now allowing.

  • that keep sponsoring these bills?

    • The good news is it sounds like this one will get the big V.
      • The good news is it sounds like this one will get the big V.

        That's what he said about the NDAA, and we all know how that turned out. [politico.com]

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        You mean like he vetoed the ACTA?
        - Oh no he signed that one.
        You mean like he asked congress to remove the "indefinite detaiment" from NDAA?
        - Oh no he asked them to ADD those two sentences.
        - And then he signed it.
        - Obama == Bush; can't believe a word coming out of his mouth.

    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Lamar Smith, a Rebublican representative of Texas.

    • The same ones who profit from the changes.

  • Sign the Petition (Score:5, Informative)

    by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @04:06PM (#39812355) Homepage Journal
    Here [aclu.org]

    Pass it on.
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @04:14PM (#39812455) Journal

    > even if the people who write the law have only good intentions, it provides substantial legal cover to others who might not

    It's important to remember; It's difficult to grant broad new powers to government or corporations and confine these powers only to the people who agree with your personal philosophy.

  • * companies are authorized to share "cyber threat information" with other private companies or the government "notwithstanding any other provision of law." That appears to mean that if a company decides that your private emails, your browsing history, your health care records, or any other information would be helpful in dealing with a "cyber threat," the company can ignore laws that would otherwise limit its disclosure.

    CISPA is another way of getting *ANYTHING* labeled a "cyber threat" so an entire can of

    • Until when? Wasn't he positioned to veto NDAA until they removed the /requirement/ to detain terrorism suspects?

      • Agreed. That is what I recall as well. Quite the bait and switch.

        The current President voted up Patriot Act II as a Senator. He sponsored tort reform as a Senator that could be used as a bludgeon against free speech. He sponsored ACTA, and tried to keep the contents of the treaty a state secret.

        I'd not hold my breath waiting for a veto on this.

      • by artor3 (1344997)

        The difference is the NDAA passed by veto proof majority, so Obama decided to try to weaken it via signing statements and executive orders. Not ideal, and not what he wanted, but it's all he can do.

        I'm tired of people trying to blame Obama for this law. Blame your congressmen. Given how many voted for it, odds are at least one of yours is culpable.

    • I'd give him some finger snaps if he said he read the bill, and would veto it.

  • When granting power to government, always assume evil intent. Two examples:

    Let's say Obamacare is upheld. The president could then define what treatments must be covered, what may not be covered, what might not be paid for by gov and so forth. So what prevents President Chimpy McHitlerburton from abortions from being covered? Privacy? Not if Obamacare is upheld, because that law puts the government directly or indirectly into the transaction.

    Or what about the various attempts to bring religion into the

  • by AntiBasic (83586) on Thursday April 26, 2012 @04:22PM (#39812569)

    They told me if I voted for John McCain, we'd see even more invasions of privacy than under George W. Bush, and they were right!

  • Because no matter how "nice" the current administration and management will be, there will be someone in the future looking for a loophole to abuse.

    • by msobkow (48369)

      Now what are the odds of that? Replying to a comment and coming up with the same heading as the comment above it?

      It's a good thing I'm not a gambler -- I'd be taking this as either proof that it's a "good luck day" or cursing the fact that I "wasted" my luck on something so trivial., :D

  • This bill was introduced by Rep. Michael “Mike” Rogers [R-MI8] with the 112 cosponsors [govtrack.us]. Isn't it great when both parties work together? Brought us the Patriot Act, and now this. If one is yours, feel free to contact them.

    • by Tancred (3904)

      Yes, please do call your reps. If if you're like me and "bipartisan" isn't granular enough, here's the break down so we know who to blame:

      The Patriot Act - 2001 (Yeas / Nays / Not Voting):
      House of Representatives [house.gov]:
      Republicans: 211 / 3 / 5 (96%)
      Democrats: 145 / 62 / 4 (68%)
      Independents: 1 / 1 / 0 (50%)
      Senate [senate.gov]:
      Republicans: 49 / 49 / 0 (100%)
      Democrats: 48 / 1 / 1 (96%) - Hooray for Russ Feingold
      Independents: 1 / 0 / 0 (100%)

      CISPA cosponsors (from your link):
      Republicans: 86 (out of 242, 35%)
      Democrats: 26 (out of

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