Corporations and Congress with members who receive big bucks to promote and protect their business interests along with corporate/military interests, tried to push through legislation that would allow a greater ability for companies to access personal information of folks on the internet and yet protect the powers that be in complete secrecy through SOPA and ACTA. You can read a post that I wrote about ACTA at Stop ACTA NOW.

   At first I considered going dark today on this blog as others will be doing in protest of CISPA but decided instead to post information on CISPA. This is yet another piece of legislation that would completely destroy any shred of privacy people have left who use twitter, Facebook and Google. There have been instances that governments have demanded information from twitter and Google on individuals but this takes it to the next step.

   This concerns me not only as a citizen but also because I appreciate my right and privilege to post my observations and opinions freely on the internet and want others to feel comfortable providing their concerns here and elsewhere on the internet without fear. That’s what our country is all about. Right? Isn’t that why we are spending billions abroad, to bring to all a more democratic world? (Insert flag waving graphic here.) Of course I know better but that’s the propaganda that we’re fed.

   The House voted to pass this new piece of legislation titled CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.

   This will be my first time that I have referred to Wikipedia but they do put it into a nutshell.

   Here is the information that Wikipedia provides:

    The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is a proposed law in the United States which would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and technology and manufacturing companies. The stated aim of the bill is to help the U.S government investigate cyber threats and ensure the security of networks against cyberattack…

    CISPA has been criticized by advocates of Internet privacy and civil liberties, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, Fight for the Future, and, as well as various conservative and libertarian groups including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, TechFreedom, FreedomWorks, Americans for Limited Government, Liberty Coalition, and the American Conservative Union. Those groups argue CISPA contains too few limits on how and when the government may monitor a private individual’s Internet browsing information. Additionally, they fear that such new powers could be used to spy on the general public rather than to pursue malicious hackers.[8][9] CISPA had garnered favor from corporations and lobbying groups such as Microsoft, Facebook, AT&T, IBM, Apple and the United States Chamber of Commerce, which look on it as a simple and effective means of sharing important cyber threat information with the government.

Anonymous has called for an internet blackout as was done to protest SOPA and ACTA:

From Anon Insiders:

     The U.S. law that would turn Google, Facebook, and Twitter into legally untouchable government spies just passed the House.

     This bill affects everyone — not just U.S. citizens. Anyone with a Facebook account could now have their data shipped directly to the U.S. government. That’s why Internet users overwhelmingly oppose this bill. Over 1.5 million people signed petitions against it. But Congress didn’t listen. This law broadened the state terror and repression of the people. By allowing corporations to track our every action on the internet the state and corporations will be merged and that we have seen before: it is called fascism.

    We are going dark on MONDAY April 22nd at 6 AM GMT for 24 hours to protest your illogical and terrorizing bill against the Internet itself. Even with the whole Internet crying out to stop this BILL, the US House of Representatives failed to do so blinded by lobbyist’s money and cum in your eyes. So we will take action ourselves and open your eyes. Every popular/mainstream websites will be black until you, Mr. DronObama promise us to use your VETO power to stop this bill at Senate. Take this as a protest or a warning, as you wish. One thing is for certain, neither you or anyone else in this world can control the Internet, so don’t even try. Stop wasting taxpayers’ money into doing these kind of shenanigans.

As always, you have to follow the money.

Oh Look, Rep. Mike Rogers Wife Stands To Benefit Greatly From CISPA Passing…

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-MI.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-MI.

    It would appear that Rep. Mike Rogers, the main person in Congress pushing for CISPA, has kept rather quiet about a very direct conflict of interest that calls into serious question the entire bill. It would appear that Rogers’ wife stands to benefit quite a lot from the passage of CISPA, and has helped in the push to get the bill passed. It’s somewhat amazing that no one has really covered this part of the story, but it highlights, yet again, the kind of activities by folks in Congress that make the public trust Congress less and less.

    It has seemed quite strange to see how strongly Rogers has been fighting for CISPA, refusing to even acknowledge the seriousness of the privacy concerns. At other times, he can’t even keep his own story straight about whether or not CISPA is about giving information to the NSA (hint: it is). And then there was the recent ridiculousness with him insisting that the only opposition to CISPA came from 14-year-old kids in their basement. Wrong and insulting.

    Of course, as we’ve noted all along, all attempts at cybersecurity legislation have always been about money. Mainly, money to big defense contractors aiming to provide the government with lots of very expensive “solutions” to the cybersecurity “problem” — a problem that still has not been adequately defined beyond fake scare stories. Just last month, Rogers accidentally tweeted (and then deleted) a story about how CISPA supporters, like himself, had received 15 times more money from pro-CISPA group that the opposition had received from anti-CISPA groups.

    So it seems rather interesting to note that Rogers’ wife, Kristi Clemens Rogers, was, until recently, the president and CEO of Aegis LLC a “security” defense contractor company, whom she helped to secure a $10 billion (with a b) contract with the State Department. The company describes itself as “a leading private security company, provides government and corporate clients with a full spectrum of intelligence-led, culturally-sensitive security solutions to operational and development challenges around the world.”

    Hmm. Sounds like a company like that would benefit greatly to seeing a big ramp up in cybersecurity FUD around the globe, and, with it, big budgets by various government agencies to spend on such things.

To read this article in full, go to techdirt.

CISPA plan to let feds receive confidential data wins big House vote

CISPA author Rep. Mike Rogers (left), successfully navigated his legislation through the House of Representatives despite ongoing privacy concerns.

   The odds of a Democrat-controlled Senate approving legislation opposed by President Obama are slim, but today’s vote could increase pressure for some sort of legislation this year.

    Today’s vote left opponents deeply unsatisfied, in large part because privacy-protective amendments were rejected or not permitted to be offered. One unsuccessful amendment (PDF) would have ensured companies’ privacy promises — including their terms of use and privacy policies — remained valid and legally enforceable in the future. Another would have curbed police ability to conduct warrantless searches of CISPA-shared data.

    CISPA is controversial because it overrules all existing federal and state laws by saying “notwithstanding any other provision of law,” including privacy policies and wiretap laws, companies may share cybersecurity-related information “with any other entity, including the federal government.” It would not, however, require them to do so.

    That language has alarmed dozens of advocacy groups, including the American Library Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Reporters Without Borders, which sent a letter (PDF) to Congress last month opposing CISPA. It says: “CISPA’s information sharing regime allows the transfer of vast amounts of data, including sensitive information like Internet records or the content of e-mails, to any agency in the government.” President Barack Obama this week threatened to veto CISPA.

To read this article in full, go to CNET.

House passes Cispa cybersecurity bill despite warnings from White House

Mike Rogers, CA 'Dutch' Ruppersberger    White House advisers warned they’d recommend president veto legislation in face of increased privacy concerns.

   The House of Representatives passed a controversial cybersecurity bill on Thursday in the face of warnings that it undermined privacy and a threat from White House advisers warning they would recommend President Barack Obama veto the legislation.

    The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Cispa) passed by a 288-127 vote, receiving support from 92 Democrats. It will move to the Senate and then to the president’s desk.

    The bill allows private businesses to share customers’ personal information with any government entity, including the National Security Agency.

Reintroduced in February after failing to pass Congress last year, the bill would afford legal protection to the government and businesses to share data with each other on cyber threats.

   To read this article in full, go to The Guardian.

There is a lot of misinformation about this bill as RT describes in this video:

As Irene Norths writes in her article CISPA and its connections to money:

President Obama has threatened to veto CISPA, should it reach his desk. Whether or not CISPA passes, there is something you can do. Contact your senators before it gets to a vote in the senate. That may or may not help as, unfortunately, politicians only listen to money. On a personal level, take back your privacy yourself:


* Browser Privacy: HTTPS Everywhere, AdBlock Plus + EasyList, Ghostery, NoScript (FireFox), NotScript (Chrome)

* VPNs: BTGuard (Canada), ItsHidden (Africa), Ipredator (Sweden), (Cyprus / Netherlands)

* Internet Anonymization: Tor, Tor Browser Bundle, I2P

* Disk Encryption: TrueCrypt (Windows / OSX / Linux), File Vault (Mac).

* File/Email Encryption: GPGTools + GPGMail (Mac), Enigmail (Windows / OSX / Linux)

* IM Encryption: Pidgin + Pidgin OTR

* IM/Voice Encryption: Mumble, Jitsi

* SMS/Voice Encryption: WhisperSystems, Silent Circle ($$$)

* Google Alternative: DuckDuckGo

* Digital P2P Currency: BitCoin

* Live Anonymous/Secure Linux: TAILS Linux

     If you have any problems installing or using the above software, please contact the projects.

     They would love to get feedback and help you use their software.

     Have no clue what Cryptography is or why you should care? Checkout the Crypto Party Handbook or the EFF’s Surveillance Self-Defense Project.

     Just want some simple tips? Checkout EFF’s Top 12 Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy.

Dora Taylor