It appears that Congress still doesn't get it. Rep. Mike Rogers, the sponsor
of the bad
CISPA bill that puts your privacy at risk, really doesn't seem particularly concerned about the protests that
have been happening online this week. He referred to them as being "like
turbulence on the way down to landing" for the bill. He also said that he
fully expects the bill to easily pass next week when its
brought to the floor.
What really comes through in the article — which mostly talks about how Rogers has been supposedly working with Google to change some of the language in the bill to make it more acceptable — is how little concern Rogers has for the public. Instead, most of the article just talks about how he's been working with tech companies to make sure they're okay with the bill. And while that's a start, it's no surprise that lots of tech companies would be okay with CISPA, because it grants them broad immunity if they happen to hand over all sorts of private info to the government.
But to then call the protests mere "turbulence" is pretty damned insulting to the actual people this will impact the most: the public, whose privacy may be violated. While we appreciate Rogers' willingness to amend the bill, it seems clear that there are still major problems with it, and Rogers does not seem to be actually listening to the privacy concerns of the public — just the various tech companies.
In the meantime, the protests continue, and if Rogers thinks they're mere "turbulence" then it appears that not enough people are speaking out. The folks at Fight for the Future have put together an excellent page to make it easier to speak out, over at CongressTMI.org. At the very least, is it that difficult for Congress to present a real reason why this bill is needed? Bogus stories of planes falling from the sky or evil Chinese hackers really aren't cutting it. Perhaps Congress should talk to some of the experts who note that Congress doesn't understand the tech enough to regulate it properly. As privacy expert Jim Harper notes:
"Congress has no particular capacity or knowledge of how to do cybersecurity," Harper says. "It's not a choice between two different versions in the House and two different versions in the Senate. The question is still open: is Congress capable of doing any good here?"
Unfortunately, in the mad dash to pass these bills (which appear to be much more about who gets to control multi-billion dollar "cybersecurity budgets" than anything else), no one in Congress seems willing to address the basic question of what problem this really solves.
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