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Privacy Erodes Further

Even though CISPA is styled as a ‘cybersecurity’ bill, it explicitly allows the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA) to use your information for ‘national security’ purposes–expanding the bill far beyond its purported goal. – CISPA, “National Security,” and the NSA’s Ability to Read Your Emails

House Republicans have decided that the Fourth Amendment is only a suggestion, though this is just a continuation of what Republicans and Democrats are doing in the name of “national security.”

CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, was passed by the House this week. It removes privacy firewalls for average citizens so that companies can share private data they retrieve with military agencies tasked with national security.

“The administration wants the U.S. government to have less access to information not an unlimited amount as the House Republican leadership and backers of [the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act] propose,” the official said in an emailed statement. – The Hill

This is a joke, though it’s certainly not funny. Pres. Obama has threatened a veto.

It follows Attorney General Eric Holder’s move in March that gives the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) new guidelines that, among other things, allows private data to be stored for longer periods of time, even if a citizen is not involved in any crime whatsoever.

…relaxing restrictions on how long data on Americans who have no known tie to terrorism may be stored. The old guidelines said data on innocent Americans must be deleted promptly, which the agency interpreted to mean if no tie to terrorism was detected within 180 days.

The new guidelines are intended to allow the center to hold on to information about Americans for up to five years, although the agencies that collected the information – and can negotiate about how it will be used – may place a shorter life span on it.

Privacy in the first decade of the 21st century, now moving into our second, has quickly become a quaint notion.

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5 Responses to Privacy Erodes Further

  1. Cujo359 April 27, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    A few days ago, a tech reporter who lives in the Netherlands wrote this about Google’s new online storage service:

    Unless you’re a hypocrite, you’ll realise all these internet storage services suffer from a fatal flaw: a complete lack of privacy. SkyDrive, Dropbox, iCloud, and now Google Drive – there’s absolutely no way to know what’s being done with your data and who has access to it. There are privacy policies and terms of service, but in the end, they’re only worth the paper they’re written on. And they’re digital, so go figure.

    The big problem here is not that companies will inevitably use all this data to improve their products – there’s some benefit to be had there for us, so that’s not all that malevolent. What is problematic, however, is the fact these services operate out of the United States. And as little trust as I place in companies, I trust the US government even less.

    Ten years ago, I would have argued with him. Not now. He’s right – our government has little respect for the rights of anyone who can’t spend the limit on campaign contributions.

  2. AliceP April 27, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    This bill is not just about cloud computing, it is about all companies that we interact with digitally and through credit card transactions.

    For example, Target builds profiles on their customers and has very detailed information on how much is spent on different products – and predicts life changing events like weddings and the birth of children so they can market to them.

    It looks to me that this bill is about ALL information companies have collected.

    The is another step in the march to creating a totalitarian state that the USA has begun. Our government is building the infrastructure right in front of our eyes and very few people, and surprisingly few young people, seem to realize this or to care.

    • Cujo359 April 27, 2012 at 11:19 am #

      This bill is not just about cloud computing,

      For the record, I never thought it was. That link is an example of how far we’ve sunk, when people in a country that’s one of our peers can’t trust us anymore to respect peoples’ rights.

      I thought that was obvious, but apparently I needed to spell that out.

  3. Joyce Arnold April 27, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    This fits into the bigger picture very neatly, regarding “national security”: militarized police departments, the use of drones, kettling and other freedom to assemble / free speech restrictions. Various groups, including but certainly not limited to Occupiers, have been calling attention to this regularly.The security measures put in place regarding the May Day actions, NATO and G8 summits, Rep and Dem national conventions … people are routinely pointing it out. Lots of other people routinely ignore or minimize it.

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