Tech at Night: CISPA gets amended but not quite as I wanted. FISMA reform quietly passes.

Tech at Night

So the House did not pass the amendment to CISPA that they probably should have passed, but the House did act to find a compromise that would ensure our needs are met, while addressing the privacy issues some have.


While the above-linked criticisms are legitimate, it is the case that not that all privacy criticisms of CISPA are legitimate. “Privacy” has become the vague catch-all for left-libertarian positions that “for the children” has become for progressives. All too often there’s no actual meat to the criticisms. Heck, half the people complaining about privacy would tell you that CISPA is the new SOPA, when the two bills are entirely unrelated. It’s baseless scaremongering designed to defeat Republican efforts and clear the field for Jay Rockefeller and Barack Obama to act.

I do plan to say more very soon on CISPA, explaining why we should pass the bill. Watch RedState.

Darrell Issa is a busy man, busy passing FISMA reform legislation. One thing I’ve noticed he likes to do is pass small, specific legislation that’s easy to get support for. He peels off Democrats for individual pieces of reform and then gets them passed with huge majorities.

In this case, we’re getting the government’s own cybersecurity house in order, which I support. It’s one piece of the puzzle.

Security is hard. As xkcd makes fun of, people often think about these issues badly.

In other legislation, the Internet Freedom bill passed the House, seeking to commit the US Government to an open Internet worldwide. The Senate is looking at ECPA reform, seeking to apply heightened warrant requirements to email services. It’s argued that the original law was written to support a downloaded-email model back when people were mostly using POP email services. A server-side, IMAP model causes more data to be stored on the server, and therefore more data to be open to ECPA searches. So, they want to change the bill.


And yet, the Democrats who want to do this, aren’t going to notice how this is a perfect example of how government action online quickly becomes out of date, and won’t see how this argues against Net Neutrality and other regulations.

So we need to learn the lesson and deregulate as the IP revolution comes, and old-fashioned phone services are replaced with modern Internet-based technologies.

I told you so, continued: The broadcasters don’t like Aereo because they want you to be paying for cable, and not to get free over-the-air broadcasts. It’s not because any rights are being violated. So we must oppose strenuously any attempt to legislate winners and losers.


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