back to article NSA-friendly cyber-slurp law CISPA back on the table with new Senate bill

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which allows private companies to share customer information with the NSA and others in the name of cybersecurity, is back on the legislative agenda. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) today confirmed the draft law would be brought before the US Senate. "I am working …


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  1. Alan Bourke

    "Saxby Chambliss" ?

    Where do they get these names.

    1. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: "Saxby Chambliss" ?

      Parents that hate their children?

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: "Saxby Chambliss" ?

        Bet he (?) just loved his time at school.

        That's got to be school bully bait if ever I heard one.

    2. User McUser

      "Saxby" is apparently of Norse origin while "Chambliss" seems pretty likely to be of French origin (and it is.)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    America. Do you hear that tearing sound? That's your constitution being ripped to shreds.

    Anyone who sits by and does nothing, deserves what comes next.

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Dianne Feinstein is extremely fond of big-money backing anti-privacy. She should share all of her online logins with the world to prove to us that everything is fine.

    2. Comments are attributed to your handle

      Yeah, we hear it. But there's not a whole lot we can do. New boss, same as old boss, etc. etc.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Big Brother

      That old hag really leaves out no occasion.

      "Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)"

      Better To Not Protest the NSA Than To Hold Hands With Libertarians, Says Progressive Scribbler

      Writing at Salon, "New York based journalist and consultant to progressive causes" Tom Watson objects to the anti-surveillance Stop Watching Us rally, scheduled for October 26 in Washington, D.C., because it commits the unforgivable sin of reaching across partisan lines. The fatal flaw of this gathering, says this breathless correspondent, is that it includes (gasp) libertarians! Much better to keep objections to the NSA and intrusive snoopiness as a private club for those who, he insists, really care about privacy. "The path to NSA reform so clearly lies inside the Democrats’ big tent," he writes, "and runs through its liberal wing."

      ... Democrats? Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Your Cell Phone) took to the pages of USA Today to defend NSA surveillance as recently as yesterday. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Your Email In Box) called Edward Snowden a "traitor" for revealing the NSA's excesses. And President Obama, who is, in fact, a Democrat, loves him some NSA surveillance.

      So, of course do Republicans. Rep. John Boehner (R-Orange) shares Reid's sentiments about Snowden. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-The Inquisition) digs the NSA, and so does Sen. John McCain (R-Get Off My Lawn).

      1. Eddy Ito

        No surprise really

        The current set of labels really doesn't do congress justice and neither do the red/blue team colors. Perhaps it should be Feinstein (A-Your Cell Phone) and Graham (A-The Inquisition), with the A standing for Authoritarian, would be much more descriptive and as far as team color goes I'm thinking something like orange and black to go with the upcoming Halloween spook spectacular.

  4. Mephistro

    My pet theory is that...

    ... somebody, very high in the NSA food chain, is doing a Hoover at -i.e. blackmailing- many American politicians. That would explain the discordance between said politicians purported 'ideals' and their funny* reactions to the NSA scandals.

    Either that or both parties are exactly the same and have a common, hidden agenda. If the later was the case, then the appropriate way to refer to senators and congressmen would be (I- Somewhere) for the Democrats and (I-Somewhere_else) for the Republicans, where the 'I' stands for 'Illuminati'.

    Note*: 'funny' as in "it smells funny round here". :0)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My pet theory is that...

      They do not need to do a Hoover. Hoover has not been forgotten so all they need is to hint or imply that they can do a Hoover.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: My pet theory is that...

      It really does come down to the Authoritarians and the non Authoritarians (I'd call them believers-in-democratic process but I think you can how corrupted Democrat has become in America).

      These people seem to think that spying on everyone 24/7/365 makes the spied upon feel safer.

      Just another weird delusion we will one day treat as grounds for barring from any elected office.

  5. dogwatch

    Why CISPA?

    "... there is a valid case for legislation that would allow greater information sharing between government and commerce about the latest computer security threats ..."


    Pardon my ignorance, but why do they need a (new) law for this?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why CISPA?

      Because they intend to share customer data under the guise of sharing threats.

    2. dan1980

      Re: Why CISPA?

      The way I see it, the purpose of this law is to make it easier for the NSA to 'lean' on private companies as those companies would be protected from legal action arising from their voluntary compliance.

      If a company if presented with a legally binding request for data, they must comply and so are immune from legal action. If that company is merely asked for information then they are likely not immune. That means that (at least some) companies would deny access to data unless the request was backed by an appropriate legal instrument.

      I imagine that this would have the 'benefit' of allowing the NSA to acquire data sets that they might not ordinarily be allowed to get through their normal surveillance programs.

      For example, let's say that the NSA are only legally authorised to collect phone records and not conversations. CISPA might mean a Telco (such as Verizon) could choose, 'voluntarily', to give the NSA, say, voicemail recordings, even though the NSA would have no legal authority to compel Verizon to hand them over.

      That's of course a hypothetical and may be way off the mark, but that's the kind of thing I see as the goal here.

      1. DragonLord

        Re: Why CISPA?

        Does this mean that they might be able to say to Google can we have a distinct list of ever to + from email address pair that has ever gone through your system and have google provide list without any fear of prosecution even though a right minded judge would never grant a warrant on that information.

        1. dan1980

          Re: Why CISPA?


          That's pretty much exactly my thought. (And it's not a comforting one.)

  6. Neoc

    Standard tactics

    When a government finds itself breaking the law (i.e., the public found out about it) the standard tactic is to pass a law that makes whatever it was legal, preferably retroactively.

  7. Paul 164
    Black Helicopters

    It won't be long before people "drop" off the internet, go back to shopping on the high street with cash, stop sending emails/Facebook and stop calling people.

    Of course, that is until cash is taken out of circulation.

    Some of the things in 'Demolition Man' don't seem so fictional now.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Demolition Man

      Sea-shell shenanigans shall ensue.

    2. dan1980
      Black Helicopters

      "Of course, that is until cash is taken out of circulation."

      This is why I am always wary of the idea of transport cards (like the Oyster card). Amazing how every bit of convenience also seems to enable ever more tracking of our lives.

      I would say that I'm taking my foil hat off now but I think I might need to add another layer instead.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      It won't be long before people "drop" off the internet, go back to shopping on the high street with cash, stop sending emails/Facebook and stop calling people.

      Won't be long? It'll never happen.

      Oh, some people, sure. There already are various sorts of objectors and non-participants who do what they can to avoid the surveillance state. But the bulk of the population goes along with a repressive government under almost any conditions. Most people are just trying to live their lives.

      The protections against overweening government in the US Constitution, for example, were rammed through by a minority interested in protecting their commercial interests; they're the result of conflict between the private and public sectors (which were sufficiently aligned at that historical moment that they saw a chance to enshrine the status quo in the structure of their new federal government). They weren't a reflection of popular sentiment.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "CISPA has had a rocky legislative road so far"

    That may be the case, but unfortunately it hasn't run over a cliff yet.

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