Tag: internet

John Oliver Urges Rescue of Net Neutrality Crashes FCC Web Site

This government should be afraid of internet trolls. Very afraid.

On his June 1 Sunday night show “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver made an impassioned plea to angry internet users to “focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction” and “prevent cable company fu*kery.”

Well we did and on Monday June 2 an army of Jon’s internet “trolls” crashed the Federal Communication Commission’s web site with e-mails demanding they protect net neutrality.

This is John’s call to action: Stop Calling It Net Neutrality; It’s ‘Preventing Cable Company F**kery’

And I can’t believe I’m going to do this. i would like to address the internet commenters out there directly. Good evening monsters, this may be the moment you spent your whole lives training for. You’ve been out there ferociously commenting on dance videos of adorable three-years-olds, saying things like: “every child could dance like this little loser after 1 week of practice.” Or you’d be polluting “Frozen’s ” Let It Go with comments like, “ice castle would giver her hypothermia and she dead in an hour.” Or, and I know you’ve done this one commenting on this show: “f*ck this asshole anchor…go suck ur president’s dick…ur just friends with terrorists xD.”

This is the moment you were made for, commenters. Like Ralph Macchio, you’ve been honing your skills waxing cars and painting fences, well guess what? Now it’s time to do some f*king karate.

For once in your life we need you to channel that anger. That badly spelled bile that you normally reserve.

H/T John Amato @ Crooks and Liars for the partial transcript

The FCC started taking public comments, nearly 50,000 have been posted in the last 30 days. Undoubtedly, those number will rise after John’s brilliant rant.

You still comment to the FCC at their site, here or use the easier EFF interface at DearFCC.org.

acquistare vardenafil online sicuro Time to hit those keyboards, commandos, and “prevent cable company fu*kery.”

FCC Moves To End Net Neutrality

In a vote this afternoon the Federal Communications Commission voted open debate on a proposal that would essentially end net neutrality. In a 3 – 2 vote, Chairman Thomas Wheeler and the two other Democratic members voted to allow Internet service providers charge content companies for faster and more reliable delivery of their traffic to users.

Critics worry the rules would create “fast lanes” for companies that pay up and slower traffic for others, although Wheeler has pledged to prevent “acts to divide the Internet between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots.'”

The FCC’s proposal tentatively concludes that some pay-for-priority deals may be allowed, but asks whether “some or all” such deals should be banned and how to ensure paid prioritization does not relegate any traffic to “slow lanes.” [..]

Consumer advocates want the FCC to reclassify Internet providers as utilities, like telephone companies, rather than as the less-regulated information services they are now.

Opponents have told Wheeler that stricter regulations would throw the industry into legal limbo, discourage investment in network infrastructure and still not prevent pay-for-priority deals.

Numerous technology companies, including Google Inc and Facebook Inc, have spoken out against allowing pay-for-priority, although they have not called for reclassification.

At the moment, nothing has change but as Mike Masnick at Techdirt put it, the door is now open to a very messy process that didn’t need to happen because the FCC has the power to declare the Internet a public utility:

At this point, what we basically have is open season on lobbyists trying to influence the FCC one way or another, eventually leading to some sort of rulemaking, followed (inevitably) by a bunch of lawsuits from broadband providers who aren’t going to be happy with any solution. And, of course, the potential (unlikely as it may be) for Congress to get involved. [..]

And while Wheeler has suggested that the FCC is willing to knock down laws that block competition, we’ll believe it when we see it in action. On top of that, Wheeler made it clear today that he still sees the interconnection issue as a separate issue, even thought it’s becoming clear that that’s where the real problem is. Oh, and while lots of people are calling for Title II reclassification, and there are many reasons to believe that may be the best solution, it’s also exceptionally messy as well, because Title II has lots of problems as well. The FCC would need to deal with those problems, via forbearance, which creates a whole different set of headaches. [..]

But, that doesn’t mean that everyone should just throw up their hands and go home to their (increasingly slow) internet. The broadband lobbyists will not be doing that. And, of course, they know quite well how to play the lobbying game and how to work the ins-and-outs of everything above. It is why it’s going to become increasingly important to become much more informed on a variety of these issues and the true implications of the choices the FCC makes in the coming months. If you would like to weigh in, and I do suggest everyone seek to share their comments with the FCC, I would suggest first spending a little time more deeply reading through the full set of issues and what the pros and cons of different options may be. You can file comments directly with the FCC or via a very, very handy Dear FCC tool that the EFF put together.

Time to take action by sending this easy letter to the FCC that the Electronic Freedom Foundation has put together:

 photo neutrality-3_zps2fd0f4dd.png

here It’s our Internet. We made it, and it has re-made us, changing the way we communicate, learn, share and create.

We want the Internet to continue to live up to its promise, fostering innovation, creativity and freedom. We don’t want regulations that will turn our ISPs into gatekeepers, making special deals with the few companies that can “pay to play” and inhibiting new competition, innovation and expression.

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=acquistare-vardenafil-Firenze Start your letter to the FCC by clicking here

Keep the Internet Neutral

What Happened to Obama’s Promised Net Neutrality?

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Net Neutrality may shortly become another broken promise made by Barack Obama during is campaign for the presidency. His appointment of telecommunications lobbyist, Thomas Wheeler, may well be the nail in its coffin. Bill Moyers and his guests, David Carr of the New York Times and Susan Crawford, a visiting professor at Harvard Law School think is still time to stop it death if the public takes action.

“For most Americans, they have no choice for all the information, data, entertainment coming through their house, other than their local cable monopoly.  And here, we have a situation where that monopoly potentially can pick and choose winners and losers, decide what you see,” Crawford tells Moyers.

Carr adds: “People have a close, intimate relationship with the web in a way they don’t other technologies … they have the precious propriety feelings about it.  And I’m not sure if the FCC really knows what they’re getting into.”



TRanscript can be read here

The problem, Bill Moyers says, is that “business and government are now so intertwined that public officials and corporate retainers are interchangeable parts of what Chief Justice John Roberts might call ‘the gratitude machine.'” FCC officials, including Wheeler, transit back and forth through the revolving door between public service and lucrative private commerce, losing sight of the greater good. But there’s still time to speak up and make your voices heard.



Transcript can be read here

Don’t Let Net Neutrality Become Another Broken Promise

by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Barack Obama told us there would be no compromise on Net neutrality. We heard him say it back in 2007, when he first was running for president. [..]

He said it many more times. And defenders of Net neutrality believed him, that he would preserve Internet access for all, without selling out to providers like Verizon and Comcast who want to charge higher fees for speedier access – hustling more cash from those who can afford to buy a place at the front of the line. On this issue so important to democracy, they believed he would keep his word, would see to it that when private interests set upon the Internet like sharks to blood in the water, its fate would be in the hands of honest brokers who would listen politely to the pleas of the greedy, and then show them the door.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be Washington’s infamous revolving door. Last May, President Obama named Tom Wheeler to be FCC chairman. He had other choices, men or women whose loyalty was to the public, not to rich and powerful corporations. But Tom Wheeler had been one of Obama’s top bundlers of campaign cash – both in 2008 and again in 2012, when he raised at least half a million dollars for the president’s re-election. Like his proposed new rules for the Web, that put him at the front of the line.

levitra for free Take Action Now

   » Save the Internet has a sample script, an email petition and instructions on how to call Wheeler and request that the chairman abandon his proposal.

   » Using WhiteHouse.gov’s We the People site, critics of the new proposal have also launched a petition, calling for “nothing less than complete neutrality in our communication channels.” It already has over 40,000 signatures.

   » A second petition asks the FCC to reclassify broadband as a regulated common-carrier service, which means it would have to be open to all, and serve all customers without discrimination. Currently broadband is classified as an information service, a category that gives the FCC a fairly limited set of regulatory options.

   » There are a number of other organizations that are working on maintaining Net neutrality, including: Access, CREDO Action, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, Free Press, Open Technology Institute, Public Knowledge, Voices for Internet Freedom

You Are Being Tracked and Monitored

Tune out, turn off, drop in.

I cut off my cable service about two years ago, and I don’t have access to non-pay broadcast television.  At first, I had a little anxiety about disconnecting myself from the hive, but in all honesty, other than having to wait a day to stream the latest episode of “The Walking Dead,” it hasn’t made that much of a difference in my life.  

One thing I did notice, was how much more peaceful video content became without exposure to advertisements.   One thing about streaming TV shows, you realize how much shorter they are than when peppered with ads.  Many hour-long TV shows are 1/3 advertisements.  I still catch a few ads here and there on HULU and at the free streaming site, Crackle, though it’s usually the same few ads over and over and they are fewer and farther between and of much shorter duration.  But what cutting back my exposure to broadcast advertising has done is made me even more acutely aware of all the other myriad sources of advertising to which my family and I are being exposed.

It’s been years since I’ve listened to the radio.  I never could stand all the advertisements mixed with music so I use a web service (Spotify) to stream whatever I want without ads.  

But turning off the TV and radio have not, unfortunately, made me immune to the bombardment of advertising and propaganda.

Since I’m one of those freaks of society who never learned how to drive, I take a bus, which are often covered with ads on the outside, and strips of ads over the windows on the inside.  There are advertisements at the bus stations and transit centers and on the backseats of cabs, these days, the ads in cabs are broadcast on little screens.  There are advertisements plastered in toilet stalls in bars and restaurants, and video screens in elevators with advertisements.  As you travel along the roadways you cannot avoid the ads on billboards and the sides of buildings.  

The print media, too, lately seems like almost nothing but advertisements.  Have you picked up a fashion magazine lately?  It’s hard to tell where the ads leave off and the content begin.  Newspapers, news magazines, National Geographic, Popular Science, Harper’s, The New Yorker – all crammed full of ads to varying degree.  

But probably the worst and most insidious advertising is on the internet.  Because of the technology of cookies, browsing history, and other “smart” programs that track what sites you visit, what products you look at, what you “like” and even what you post in your Facebook status updates, are all used to expose users to ads targeted expressly to them.  Even on dailykos.com, the advertisement at the top of the page is something I’ve looked at on, for example, Overstock.com.  

When I log on to Facebook, there are ads related to things about which I’ve posted.  Because of my status updates and profile, not to mention the cookies, Facebook knows I live in Seattle, that I’m a mom, that I’m a renter, that I think I’m overweight, and that I smoke.  Since I looked at Rent.com recently, I see advertisements about apartments or for real estate seminars being held in Seattle.  Because I’ve written about quitting smoking my page shows ads about teeth whitening products.  And since I write about getting old and chubby, I see ads that will help melt belly fat.  I belong to one or two groups devoted to Flamenco, so I see ads for the latest Gipsy Kings record, and dance performances coming up in Seattle.  One time my status update contained “goat cheese” and I kid you not, soon after an ad for goat cheese and other gourmet products shows up in my stream.  The ads used to only appear off to the side of one’s feed, but now they are also interspersed throughout users’ feeds as though they were friends’ posts.  

Just like VNRs (video news releases, broadcast segments paid for by corporations or government to look like news segments during a news hour, these advertisements are designed to look like your friends’ posts so that you’ll pay attention rather than scroll past them.  

The internet has overtaken the TV as the number one delivery method of advertising and propaganda and offers a much more fertile ground for ways to intimately track and specifically target certain users.

This bit has been posted to The Stars Hollow Gazette,,Voices on the Square, Docudharma and Daily Kos.

CISPA IS Dead, For Now

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

CISPA Kitty photo blog_cispacat_zps96b502e5.jpgThe Senate will not vote on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, CISPA, that was passed by the House last week.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.), who is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, “believes that information sharing is a key component of cybersecurity legislation, but the Senate will not take up CISPA,” a committee staffer told HuffPost.

A staffer for the Senate Intelligence Committee said the committee also is working on an information-sharing bill and will not take up CISPA.

“We are currently drafting a bipartisan information sharing bill and will proceed as soon as we come to an agreement,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement Thursday.

CISPA Is ‘Dead for Now,’ Thanks to a Left-Right Coalition for Online Privacy

by John Nichols, The Nation

What brings the most seriously libertarian Republican in the US House, Michigan’s Justin Amash, together with Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota?

What unites long-time Ronald Reagan aide Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, with liberal firebrand Alan Grayson, D-Florida?

What gets steadily conservative former House Judiciary Committee chair James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, together with progressive former House Judiciary Committee chair John Conyers Jr., D-Michigan?

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which has for 222 years promised that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

That’s an old commitment that members of Congress swear an oath to uphold. [..]

CISPA actually won 288 “yes” votes in the House, but the 127 “no” votes-coming from principled members on both sides of the aisle-sent a strong message to the more deliberative Senate. In combination with a grassroots campaign spearheaded by tech-savvy privacy activists and a threatened veto by President Obama, the bipartisan House opposition appears to have convinced Senate leaders have signaled that they plan to put the legislation on hold. The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday suggestion that CISPA looks to be “dead for now.”

ACLU: CISPA Is Dead (For Now)

By Jason Koebler, US News

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=levitra-originale-20-mg-online-prezzo-pi%C3%B9-basso The Senate will not take up the controversial cybersecurity bill, is drafting separate legislation

“I think it’s dead for now,” says Michelle Richardson, legislative council with the ACLU. “CISPA is too controversial, it’s too expansive, it’s just not the same sort of program contemplated by the Senate last year. We’re pleased to hear the Senate will probably pick up where it left off last year.”

That’s not to say Congress won’t pass any cybersecurity legislation this year. Both Rockefeller and President Obama want to give American companies additional tools to fight back against cyberattacks from domestic and foreign hackers.

But cybersecurity legislation in the Senate, such as the Cybersecurity and American Cyber Competitiveness Act of 2013, has greater privacy protections than CISPA does. Richardson says that bill makes it clear that companies would have to “pull out sensitive data [about citizens]” before companies send it to the government and also puts the program under “unequivocal civilian control,” something CISPA author Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., was unwilling to do.

Even if the Senate gets something done, Rogers and other CISPA supporters will likely have to compromise more than they’ve been willing to over the past year as Obama has made it clear he will veto legislation that doesn’t have more privacy protections.

CISPA Is Dead. Now Let’s Do a Cybersecurity Bill Right

by Julian Sanchez, Wired

Americans have grown so accustomed to hearing about the problem of “balancing privacy and security” that it sometimes feels as though the two are always and forever in conflict – that an initiative to improve security can’t possibly be very effective unless it’s invading privacy. Yet the conflict is often illusory: A cybersecurity law could easily be drafted that would accomplish all the goals of both tech companies and privacy groups without raising any serious civil liberties problems.

Few object to what technology companies and the government say they want to do in practice: pool data about the activity patterns of hacker-controlled “botnets,” or the digital signatures of new viruses and other malware. This information poses few risks to the privacy of ordinary users. Yet CISPA didn’t authorize only this kind of narrowly limited information sharing. Instead, it gave companies blanket immunity for feeding the government vaguely-defined “threat indicators” – anything from users’ online habits to the contents of private e-mails – creating a broad loophole in all federal and state privacy laws and even in private contracts and user agreements.

Given that recent experience has shown companies shielded by secrecy often err on the side of oversharing with the government, that loophole was a key concern. So why the gap between what the law permits and its supporters’ aims?

It’s a principle wonks call tech neutrality. Nobody wants to write a bill that refers too specifically to the information needed to protect current networks (like “Internet Protocol addresses” or “Netflow logs”) since technological evolution would render such language obsolete over time.

Stop CISPA Moves to the Senate

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Stop CISPA The controversial data sharing bill, Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) was passed by the House by a vote of 288 – 127, as 92 Democrats voted for the bill, while 29 Republicans voted against it. The bill passed without the privacy protections that civil liberties advocates felt were necessary, an objection that was echoed by the White House with a veto threat earlier this week. An attempt by the lead sponsors of the bill, Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), offered an amendment to mollify the objections but privacy advocates stated that it fell short of what was needed to safeguard an individual’s right to privacy.

Amendments that were proposed to protect Fourth Amendment rights were not even allowed debate by the rules committee:

Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, proposed a one-sentence amendment (PDF) that would have required the National Security Agency, the FBI, Homeland Security, and other agencies to secure a “warrant obtained in accordance with the Fourth Amendment” before searching a database for evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Grayson complained this morning on Twitter that House Republicans “wouldn’t even allow debate on requiring a warrant before a search.” [..]

CISPA is controversial because it get link 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. [..]

Because Grayson’s amendment was not permitted, get link CISPA will allow the federal government to compile a database of information shared by private companies and search that information for possible violations of hundreds, if not thousands, of criminal laws. [..]

“The government could use this information to investigate gun shows” and football games because of the threat of serious bodily harm if accidents occurred, Polis said. “What do these things even have to do with cybersecurity?… From football to gun show organizing, you’re really far afield.”

At the heart of CISPA is warrantless searches a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment which reads:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

This has had a strange effect of uniting the left and right in the opposition to the bill. The Tea Party aligned group Freedom Works issued this statement:

CISPA would allow for more information sharing between the private sector and the federal government regarding cyber security. Although this year’s CISPA is a net improvement over last year’s bill, it still leaves open concerns about private information being shared in the name of national security.

There are grave Fourth Amendment concerns with CISPA. The bill would override existing privacy laws to allow companies to share “cyber threat information” with the federal government without making any reasonable effort to strip out any personal information from the file.

They even have a site to actively Stop CISPA along with the ACLU and the Electronic Freedom Foundation. Strange bedfellows, indeed.

Passage in the Senate without addition of privacy protections is doubtful but one never knows:

The discussion now shifts to the Democrat-controlled Senate, which appears unlikely to act on the legislation in the wake of a presidential veto threat earlier this week, and an executive order in January that may reduce the need for new legislation. Today’s House vote, on the other hand, could increase pressure on the Senate to enact some sort of legislation.

Sen. John Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat who was involved in last year’s cybersecurity debate, said after today’s vote that “CISPA’s privacy protections are insufficient.” Still, Rockefeller said, “I believe we can gain bipartisan agreement on bills that we can report out of our committees and allow [Majority Leader Harry Reid] to bring them to the Senate floor as early as possible.”

We urge everyone to keep the pressure on the Senate and the White House by calling and e-mailing your objections:

The White House switchboard is go to link 202-456-1414.

The comments line is http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=vardenafil-originale-online-garanzia 202-456-1111.

The White House email address is here

Numbers for the Senate are here.

E-mail addresses for the Senate are here

Please be polite and on point.

The late internet activist Aaron Swartz called CISPA the “The Patriot Act of the Internet”.

canine side effects of lasix Contact the White House and your Senators to protect your privacy rights.

52 hours left to stop CISPA

Cross posted Messing With the Wrong City] from [The Stars Hollow Gazette

Stop CISPATime to take action. As I reported last week the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act(CISPA) was sent to the House for a vote.

From an e-mail that Joan McCarter at Daily Kos posted the e-mail from the White House issuing a veto threat of the bill as it currently stands:

The Administration recognizes and appreciates that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) adopted several amendments to H.R. 624 in an effort to incorporate the Administration’s important substantive concerns. However, the Administration still seeks additional improvements and if the bill, as currently crafted, were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill. The Administration seeks to build upon the continuing dialogue with the HPSCI and stands ready to work with members of Congress to incorporate our core priorities to produce cybersecurity information sharing legislation that addresses these critical issues.

H.R. 624 appropriately requires the Federal Government to protect privacy when handling cybersecurity information. Importantly, the Committee removed the broad national security exemption, which significantly weakened the restrictions on how this information could be used by the government. The Administration, however, remains concerned that the bill does not require private entities to take reasonable steps to remove irrelevant personal information when sending cybersecurity data to the government or other private sector entities. Citizens have a right to know that corporations will be held accountable-and not granted immunity-for failing

to safeguard personal information adequately. [emphasis in original]

House Democrats are now rallying in opposition to the bill:

Four Democratic members say the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, as written “would undermine the interests of citizens and their privacy” despite the addition of five privacy-focused amendments adopted to the bill last week. They argue that the amendments do not go far enough to ease their concerns.

“Without further amendments to protect privacy and civil liberties, we cannot support the bill,” the House Democratic lawmakers write in the “Dear Colleague” letter.

“The bill has improved from earlier versions, but even with the amendments adopted, CISPA unacceptably and unnecessarily compromises the privacy interests of Americans online,” they add.

Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Rush Holt (D-N.J.) signed the letter.

The House Rules Committee will meet on Tuesday afternoon to approve the rule for the bill, which will determine what amendments will be voted on in the House later this week. House members have until Tuesday morning to file their proposed amendments to the bill.

There are twelve Democratic co-sponsors to the bill. We need to send tell them to withdraw their support:

Ruppersberger, A. Dutch [D-MD2]

Costa, Jim [D-CA16]

Cuellar, Henry [D-TX28]

Enyart, William [D-IL12]

Gutierrez, Luis [D-IL4]

Hastings, Alcee [D-FL20]

Kilmer, Derek [D-WA6]

Lipinski, Daniel [D-IL3]

Peters, Scott [D-CA52]

Sewell, Terri [D-AL7]

Sinema, Kyrsten [D-AZ9]

Vargas, Juan [D-CA51]

The Electronic Freedom Foundation (EEF) is urging action:

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is supposed to promote cybersecurity- a goal EFF wholeheartedly supports – but it doesn’t address common-sense network security issues. Instead, it creates a new, dangerous exception to existing privacy laws. That’s why hundreds of thousands of concerned Internet users have joined EFF and other civil liberties groups in opposing the bill. This is our last chance to stop it in the House.

Despite recent amendments, CISPA still features vague language that could put your personal information in the hands of military organizations like the National Security Agency.

Can you call your representative and tell him or her to oppose this bill?  We’ll give you the phone number for your representative and a very brief suggested script. Click here to call Congress now.

Not in the United States? Click here to sign our petition.

We want to generate thousands of calls between now and the vote-likely on Thursday.  Please call now and then tell your friends to speak out on this important issue. It’s as easy as posting this on your social networking accounts:

   Congress is about to vote on CISPA. If you care about online privacy, you’ve got to speak out now:  https://eff.org/r.5bPw

You can also use Twitter tool to tell key members of Congress to stand up for your privacy and vote NO on CISPA.

The White House switchboard is 202-456-1414.

The comments line is 202-456-1111.

Numbers for the Senate are here.

Numbers for the House are here.

The late internet activist Aaron Swartz called CISPA the “The Patriot Act of the Internet”.

Call the White House and your representatives to protect your privacy rights.

Stop CISPA: Bill Headed For Vote

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Stop CISPA Last month the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) was resurrected in the House by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.).

Following a closed-door meeting, the bill was voted out of the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 18-to-2 and privacy experts are up in arms over the lack of privacy protection that were stripped from the bill. Only two Democrats voted against the bi;;, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and  Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

Stopping short of a veto threat, the White House said it was unlikely to support the bill

by Leigh Beadon, Techdirt

Here’s the full text of the statement from {Caitlin Hayden, a National Security Council spokeswoman):

“We continue to believe that information sharing improvements are essential to effective legislation, but they must include privacy and civil liberties protections, reinforce the roles of civilian and intelligence agencies, and include targeted liability protections. The Administration seeks to build upon the productive dialogue with Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger over the last several months, and the Administration looks forward to continuing to work with them to ensure that any cybersecurity legislation reflects these principles. Further,

we believe the adopted committee amendments reflect a good faith-effort to incorporate some of the Administration’s important substantive concerns, but we do not believe these changes have addressed some outstanding fundamental priorities

.”

Where have we heard this before? FISA? The Patriot Act?

CISPA Amendment Proves Everyone’s Fears Were Justified While Failing To Assuage Them

Just this week, Rep. Rogers flatly stated this is not a surveillance bill. Still, in an attempt to placate the opposition, they backed an amendment (pdf and embedded below) from Rep. Hines replacing that paragraph, which passed in the markup phase. Here’s the new text:

   PRIVACY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES.-

   (A) POLICIES AND PROCEDURES.-The Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, shall establish and periodically review policies and procedures governing the receipt, retention, use, and disclosure of non-publicly available cyber threat information shared with the Federal Government in accordance with paragraph (1). Such policies and procedures shall, consistent with the need to protect systems and networks from cyber threats and mitigate cyber threats in a timely manner-

   (i) minimize the impact on privacy and civil liberties;

   (ii) reasonably limit the receipt, retention, use, and disclosure of cyber threat information associated with specific persons that is not necessary to protect systems or networks from cyber threats or mitigate cyber threats in a timely manner;

   (iii) include requirements to safeguard non-publicly available cyber threat information that may be used to identify specific persons from unauthorized access or acquisition;

   (iv) protect the confidentiality of cyber threat information associated with specific persons to the greatest extent practicable; and

   (v) not delay or impede the flow of cyber threat information necessary to defend against or mitigate a cyber threat.

It seems to me they are hoping that by making the section longer and more complicated, people will miss the fact that very little has changed. But what’s truly astonishing is that this new text reads like a confession that CISPA does involve all the stuff that they’ve been insisting it has nothing to do with.

The big thing, of course, is that this oversight now involves civilian agencies, which is really the only meaningful change – and its impact has been rather minimized. Rather than putting the DHS or another agency in between the public and military agencies like the NSA, they’ve simply given them some input – and it’s hard to say how meaningful that input will be.

The Privacy Risks of CISPA

by Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office

Reports of significant data breaches make headlines ever more frequently, but lost in the cloak and dagger stories of cyberespionage is the impact proposed cybersecurity programs can have on privacy. The same Internet that terrorists, spies and criminals exploit for nefarious purposes is the same Internet we all use daily for intensely private but totally innocuous purposes.

Unfortunately, in their pursuit to protect America’s critical infrastructure and trade secrets, some lawmakers are pushing a dangerous bill that would threaten Americans’ privacy while immunizing companies from any liability should that cyberinformation-sharing cause harm. [..]

Here’s what needs to happen. First, CISPA needs to be amended to clarify that civilians are in charge of information collection for cybersecurity purposes, period. Anything short of that is a fundamental failure. Second, the bill needs to narrow the definition of what can be shared specifically to say that companies can only share information necessary to address cyberthreats after making reasonable efforts to strip personally identifiable information. Industry witnesses before the House Intelligence and Homeland Security committees testified this year that this is workable, and such information isn’t even necessary to combat cyberthreats. Third, after sharing, CISPA information should be used only by government and corporate actors for cybersecurity purposes. As a corollary to that, there should be strict and aggressive minimization procedures to protect any sensitive data that slips through.

The ACLU and the Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) have banded together to Stop CISPA. The petitions with over 100,000 signatures has been delivered to the White House. Now we need to get to the phones.

The White House switchboard is 202-456-1414.

The comments line is 202-456-1111.

Numbers for the Senate are here.

Numbers for the House are here.

The late internet activist Aaron Swartz called CISPA the “The Patriot Act of the Internet”. Call the White House and your representatives to protect your privacy rights.

The High Cost For Bad Internet Connection In The US

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Recently the Federal Communications Commission announced that it wanted to create a free super Wi-Fi network across the country, virtually eliminating a monthly internet bill.  Naturally, the telecommunication giants and the lawmakers in Congress who protect them are opposed.  In Europe, internet users enjoy inexpensive, high speed access to a broadband, phone, and cable TV package for as little as $40 a month.  The phone service has unlimited local calling and a lot of free international calls.

Bloomberg View contributor and  visiting professor at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School, Susan Crawford notes that Americans pay a high price for slow and bad internet connections at a time when “the internet has taken the place of the telephone as the world’s basic, general-purpose, two-way communication medium“.  In the article, she describes how a city in Louisiana brought cheaper, high speed internet to its community despite opposition from the telephone and local cable companies:

Terry Huval is a large, friendly man with a lilting Southern accent who plays Cajun fiddle tunes in his spare time. He is also the director of utilities in Lafayette, Louisiana. “Our job is making sure we listen to our citizens,” he says.

In 2004, the Lafayette utilities system decided to provide a fiber-to-the-home service. The new network, called LUS Fiber, would give everyone in Lafayette a very fast Internet connection, enabling them to lower their electricity costs by monitoring and adjusting their usage.

Push-back from the local telephone company, BellSouth Corp., and the local cable company, Cox Communications Inc., was immediate. They tried to get laws passed to stop the network, sued the city, even forced the town to hold a referendum on the project — in which the people voted 62 percent in favor. Finally, in February 2007, after five civil lawsuits, the Louisiana Supreme Court voted, 7-0, to allow the network.

From 2007 to mid-2011, people living in Lafayette saved $5.7 million on telecommunications services.

Prof. Crawford joined Bill Moyers on Moyers & Company to discuss why U.S. internet access is slow, costly and unfair

Susan Crawford, former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology and innovation, and author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, joins Bill to discuss how our government has allowed a few powerful media conglomerates to put profit ahead of the public interest – rigging the rules, raising prices, and stifling competition. As a result, Crawford says, all of us are at the mercy of the biggest business monopoly since Standard Oil in the first Gilded Age a hundred years ago.

“The rich are getting gouged, the poor are very often left out, and this means that we’re creating, yet again, two Americas, and deepening inequality through this communications inequality,” Crawford tells Bill.

CISPA Resurrected

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Stop CISPAYou know that dress or shirt that’s been hanging in your closet for years, you know that hideous shade of fuscia that was a fashion must have for barely a season but you had to buy it, well, there are some bills in Congress that are just like that, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is one of those bills. On Friday, while everyone was distracted by the blizzard in the Northeast, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking member Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.)announced that they would reintroduce CISPA next week. Apparently alarmed by the recent hacks of government web sites and private banking information, this dynamic duo plan on reintroducing the same bill that the House passed last year that President Barack Obama’s advisors recommended he veto.

The bill, in the form it was presented in 2011,

would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and certain 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, and Avaaz.org. 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. CISPA has garnered favor from corporations and lobbying groups such as Microsoft, Facebook 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.

Some critics saw CISPA as a second attempt at strengthening digital piracy laws after the anti-piracy Stop Online Piracy Act became deeply unpopular. Intellectual property theft was initially listed in the bill as a possible cause for sharing Web traffic information with the government, though it was removed in subsequent drafts

It is now clawing its way back to life. The ACLU is asking for our help to once again gear up to protect and preserve the right to freedom of the internet

Because of your activism last year, big and important changes were made to the Senate cyber bill, including significant privacy protections. Let’s do it again House-side. If the House wants smart cyber legislation that also protects privacy, it needs to ensure that the programs are civilian-led, minimize the sharing of sensitive personal information between government and corporations, and protect collected information from non-cyber uses.

So bone up on what CISPA does, see the many organizations from left to right who have opposed CISPA, compare it (pdf) to the far better legislation in the Senate, and read why even the Obama administration threatened to veto this bill last year. And get ready to fight for your right to online privacy once again.

This was what Internet Activist Aaron Swartz fought against when he called CISPA “The Patriot Act of the Internet”

Swartz told Russia Today that whereas SOPA was exclusively “about giving the government the power to censor the Internet,” CISPA has the same kind of censorship provisions but “is more like a Patriot Act for the Internet.”

“It sort of lets the government run roughshod over privacy protections and share personal data about you,” he explained, “take it from Facebook and Internet providers and use it without the normal privacy protections that are in the law. … It’s an incredibly broad and dangerous bill.”

“The thing about this bill is it doesn’t really have any protections against cyber threats,” Swartz added. “All it does is make people share their information. But that’s not going to solve the problem. What’s going to solve the problem is actual security measures, protecting the service in the first place, not spying on people after the fact.”

This bill needs to be stopped and quickly. The time to act is now, educate yourself, your family and friends to the danger this bill represents.

Violating Our Privacy Is Not An Option

Sign this petition and send Congress a message that our rights are not negotiable.

For Aaron and for us.

Free Public Wi-Fi Coming to the USA

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Color me shocked. If this comes to fruition, the US would catch up with the rest of the world.

The federal government wants to create super WiFi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month. […]

   The airwaves that FCC officials want to hand over to the public would be much more powerful than existing WiFi networks that have become common in households. They could penetrate thick concrete walls and travel over hills and around trees. If all goes as planned, free access to the Web would be available in just about every metropolitan area and in many rural areas.

   The new WiFi networks would also have much farther reach, allowing for a driverless car to communicate with another vehicle a mile away or a patient’s heart monitor to connect to a hospital on the other side of town.

Over at Maddow Blog, Steve Brenen spoke with an FCC spokesperson who explained:

“The FCC’s incentive auction proposal, launched in September of last year, would unleash substantial spectrum for licensed uses like 4G LTE. It would also free up unlicensed spectrum for uses including, but not limited to, next generation Wi-Fi. As the demand for mobile broadband continues to grow rapidly, we need to free up significant amounts of spectrum for commercial use, and both licensed and unlicensed spectrum must be part of the solution.”

This is several years off and faces opposition from the telecom industry and lawmakers in the House and Senate who represent them and not us.

h/t to Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars for this 2010 interview with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski who  answered questions submitted and voted on by people on Citizentube.

Running on Empty

Not much going on here. Sad, in a way but I think we are all weary of politics after the election. We dodged a bullet in a way–the Obama win asserted that the majority of the voters and, I believe, a majority of the people prefer not to end Western Civilization yet which a vote for Romney clearly would indicate. I’m happy for that and feel I can now relax a bit.

Life goes on–nothing substantial changed there will be some different seating arrangements in the halls of power but the same basic actors will be there and the same permanent government is in power. There is an cannot be any significant change in those arrangements as any reasonably thorough examination of our institutions, regs, laws and economic/social arrangements would indicate. We will be the land of the con, the scam the hidden deals and the fine-print and the “gotcha.” We are a chaotic society that keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.

What strikes me is what few on the left want to confront–our political arrangements actually reflect who we are on a personal and community-level in an exaggerated way of course–but the general attitude of incoherence, superstition, and the inability to have dialogue may be even worse in the body-politic than in the actual halls of power.

As I have had discussions both online and verbal over the years I find less and less willingness of people to listen to each other, rather, everyone wants to be right and be justified–I can’t say I am that different other than I try to be observant but I like anyone can get on my high horse and hear nothing.

I see no cultural movement moving us into a more “enlightened” point of view politically though I’m happy that there is more acceptance of sexual minorities, a slight turning away from religious fundamentalism due to a real resurgence of “I’m an atheist and I’m proud” movement which I like even though I am a Christian–you know the old fashioned type that actually has read the Gospels–I’m also influenced by Buddhism and Yoga and Sufism and so on it’s all very similar to me–the Perennial Philosophy as Huxley called it.

We need a dialogue on philosophy and spirituality in this country–politics comes from these larger views. We are diseased as a culture because we have not come to terms with philosophy or theology (the Queen of the Sciences in my view) and I think that movement may slowly roll. Being able to admit I’m a Christian or an Atheist or whatever or just that I don’t know is the new liberation movement we need.

Politics has nothing to offer now–we no longer live in a Constitutional republic so we should stop complaining about a fact that has been a fact for a long time and shows absolutely no sign of changing other than allowing everyone an equal opportunity to kill peasants and so on.

As far as politics and whatever this site is about–we’re running on empty. Sad.

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