Thursday01 December 2022

New Proposed Amendment to CISPA Could Grant the US DHS More Power to "Monitor" the Internet

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90After working so very hard (and unsuccessfully) to convince everyone that CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) would not be like SOPA and that it is all good for everyone, it seems that the lawmakers involved in it just could not resist adding in a special little touch. There is an amendment to CISPA that would grant the Department of Homeland Security some brand new powers over all that data.

Before we get into what those new powers are we want to take the time to reiterate something here; Mark Zuckerberg’s comments about Facebook, what they will do with your data, and their support for CISPA. Zuckerberg made the statement that they support CISPA, but that all your data is safe (honest they won’t share it). In fact Joel Kaplan, VP for US Public Policy, recently said

“The overriding goal of any cybersecurity bill should be to protect the security of networks and private data, and we take any concerns about how legislation might negatively impact Internet users’ privacy seriously. As a result, we’ve been engaging directly with key lawmakers as well as industry and consumer groups about potential changes to the bill to help address privacy concerns”

So now that we see this let’s talk about those new powers that congress is proposing. The new amendment to CISPA would grant the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the powers to “Intercept, Acquire, Retain”, and to “Use” any and all data that travels over networks run by the US government OR (and this is the kicker here) run by carriers on its behalf. This later bit would include companies like AT&T, Verizon, Qwest, and more (Almost any carrier could be added to this list really). All DHS has to do is say that the monitoring is to ward off “Cybersecurity threats” and it is all good.

So add a little salt to the wound this move would mean that any government housing (including low rest or rent subsidized) would fall under this type of monitoring. Of course it goes without saying that all military traffic (even from base housing) would be subject to this.

Why the move after all the PR? Well you see the DHS has been trying to get a nice monitoring network in place for a long time. This has been under the heading of the Einstein project which currently only monitors the gates to government facilities. DHS has been petitioning congress to expand the monitoring capabilities to include private entities and even residential area all in the name of better cyber security. For the most part these requests have been denied, but now that CISPA is here, it looks like DHS and some of their supporters in congress are trying to put this back in place.

CISPA is becoming a more and more dangerous law as amendments like this one are proposed. This little addition is not an official part of the bill yet, but you can bet that there will be some whispering into the ears of the top people saying that this is a great idea as long as it can be used to further protect intellectual property like it says in the original loose definition of the bill. We are sure that the opposition to CISPA will pick up and as always we do expect to hear from the Anonymous movement on this one. Already the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others have been very outspoken on this. The crucial question is; will congress listen again?

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Last modified on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 09:41

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