Here goes Congress again.

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Here goes Congress again.

Post by N7SC » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:54 am

It is somehow appropriate that this activity in congress coincides with the release of the new, remake, Three Stooges movie. You'll see.

After the public and many internet and tech companies shot down the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) has introduced and sponsored a bill called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

If you are somehow thought to be a cybersecurity threat, or engaged in IP theft (Intellectual Property theft), CISPA does not force entities (such as Facebook, ISPs, etc) to hand over info. about your activities, but it does allow these entities to cooperate with Homeland Security to whatever extent the entity chooses, completely without regard for your rights.

The companies are also free to send your information, emails, etc., to each other if they think you may be a "cybersecurity threat," or engaged in intellectual property theft.

Here is a quote from the CNET article linked, below, to whet your appetite, and probably turn your stomach. Note that they are again trying to completely eliminate any rights you have to privacy on-line. And, further, they are again trying to use the cover of national security protection to hide the fact that the bill also covers intellectual property theft.
So, say the government thought you were discussing a cybersecurity threat or IP theft -- such as illegal file sharing somehow related to cybersecurity -- on Facebook. The bill would not force Facebook to hand you over to the feds, yet CISPA does make it so that Facebook will be completely unrestricted (say, by your rights) to cooperate with Homeland Security to the fullest extent.

The so-called "cybersecurity bill" lets the US government into any online communication if it believes there is reason to suspect cyber crime, or a threat of intellectual property theft. The bill defines "cybersecurity systems" and "cyber threat information" as anything related to protecting networks from:

'(A) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or '(B) theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information.

"Cybersecurity" is not actually defined in the bill.

Similar to SOPA, CISPA guts citizens' online privacy protections but even more, it allows the US government to use Internet companies to access, intercept or stop the digital communications and online activity of any person - "for cybersecurity purposes."

Like SOPA, the bill tries to lump IP theft (and the threat of intellectual property theft) into the definitions of criminal cybersecurity protection.
Emphasis added.

The CNET article contains a link to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's page has a tool that will help you contact your local congressman. There is also a link to a .pdf of CISPA itself.

CNET article on CISPA, click here.

Please let Moe (John McCain, the senate sponsor of the senate's version of CISPA, the SECURE IT Act), and Larry (Rep. Rogers) know you won't stand for this complete elimination of our rights to a reasonable expectation of online privacy.

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Re: Here goes Congress again.

Post by ces » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:46 am

The Best Government Money Can Buy
Here is a link to the online tool that permits you to contact your local congressperson and let them know what you think about these creeps in congress who will do and say anything for a few crumbs of campaign contributions... ... n_KEY=8444

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Re: Here goes Congress again.

Post by Reachable » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:52 pm

It's worth doing anything to protect privacy.

However, lest there be no naiveté:

The new National Data Center being built in Utah: ... nter/all/1

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Re: Here goes Congress again.

Post by m0002a » Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:08 am

New York Times, Published 09:42 p.m., Saturday, April 14, 2012:
At Obama White House, Cash Spells Access
Analysis finds that big campaign donations continue to open doors.

Last May, as a battle was heating up between Internet companies and Hollywood over how to stop online piracy, a top entertainment industry lobbyist landed a meeting at the White House with one of President Barack Obama's technology advisers.

He was accompanied by Antoinette C. Bush, a well-connected Washington lawyer who has represented companies like Viacom, Sony and News Corp. for 30 years. A friend of the president and a cousin of his close aide Valerie B. Jarrett, Bush has been to the White House at least nine times during his term. At the same time, she and her husband, Dwight, have donated heavily to the president's re-election effort.

Although Obama has made a point of not accepting contributions from registered lobbyists, a review of campaign donations and White House visitor logs shows that special interests have had little trouble making themselves heard. Many of the president's biggest donors, while not lobbyists, took lobbyists with them to the White House, while others performed essentially the same function on their visits.

More broadly, the review showed that those who donated the most to Obama and the Democratic Party since he started running for president were far more likely to visit the White House than others. Among donors who gave $30,000 or less, about 20 percent visited the White House, according to a New York Times analysis that matched names in the visitor logs with donor records.

But among those who donated $100,000 or more, the figure rises to about 75 percent. Approximately two-thirds of the president's top fundraisers in the 2008 campaign visited the White House at least once, some of them numerous times.

The reasons someone might have gained access to the White House and made a donation are wide-ranging, and it is clear that in some cases the administration came down against the policies being sought by the visitors. But the regular appearance of big donors inside the White House underscores how political contributions continue to lubricate many of the interactions between officials and their guests, if for no other reason than that donors view the money as useful for getting a foot in the door.

Administration officials insisted that donations do not factor into White House visits, and they cited steps taken to curb the influence of money in politics, including a ban on executive branch employees' accepting gifts from lobbyists and on appointees' lobbying the White House after they leave. Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman, pointed out that Obama was the first president to release the visitor logs regularly, and added that "being a supporter of the president does not secure you a visit to the White House, nor does it preclude you from one."

Although those in office invariably deny it, the notion that access is available at a price is a well-founded reality of Washington. Memorably, President Richard Nixon was caught on tape remarking that $250,000 should be the minimum donation for an ambassadorship. The Clinton White House offered major donors coffee with the president or sleepovers in the Lincoln Bedroom.

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Re: Here goes Congress again.

Post by ces » Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:21 am

SPCR Ignore Function
ces wrote:
xan_user wrote:Did you know SPCR has an ignore function? I didn't. :mrgreen:
Sooooo much better now. :wink:
I recommend it highly. :D
Many if not most of the posters on SPCR (including myself) will get cranky from time to time... but what they contribute most often outweighs the irritation they may cause at other times. But sometimes two posters may just not get along.

I want to thank xan_user for showing how to shut off the noise of someone you consider to be so obnoxious that he/she/they just spoil the SPCR experience for you.

Here is how you shut them out of your world:
1. Go the the forums and log in.
2. Click on "User Control Panel" on the upper right side of the screen.
3. Go the the left side of the screen and click on "Friends & Foes"
4. Then click on "Manage foes"
5. Then enter the handles of whoever you just don't want to listen to.
"Foes are users which will be ignored by default. Posts by these users will not be fully visible. Personal messages from foes are still permitted. Please note that you cannot ignore moderators or administrators."

So far I have used it on only one poster, but it felt good just pushing the button to do so. Try it, you'll like it. And if I ever become a burden on your pleasure of using the SPCR forums, by all means, block my posts.

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Re: Here goes Congress again.

Post by m0002a » Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:41 am

ces wrote:So far I have used it on only one poster, but it felt good just pushing the button to do so. Try it, you'll like it.
He did originally block me, but apparently couldn't stay away from my insightful posts anymore, so he must have unblocked me.

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Re: Here goes Congress again.

Post by Jay_S » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:10 am

m0002a wrote:New York Times, Published 09:42 p.m., Saturday, April 14, 2012:
At Obama White House, Cash Spells Access
Analysis finds that big campaign donations continue to open doors.

I try to stay away from online political debate, and so probably won't post again in this thread.

This headline is pretty non-partisan. Whatever you think of members on this forum or their stated positions, that money distorts politics is a concern we all share.

In my opinion ( :D ), Lawrence Lessig's recent book is a terrific overview of the topic:

Republic Lost, How Money Corrupts Congress--and a Plan to Stop It

It is a call-to-action sort of book, which usually turns me off. But there's relatively little of that compared to the rest. The first third of the book is anecdotal evidence supporting the rest of the book. The basic argument is that:

1) congress subsists on a system of dependance corruption
2) this is not the quid pro quo style corruption of the 19th century
3) instead, it's a gift-style system of persuasion where campaign funding (or lack of) is a political lever
4) and this does cause a distortion of policy and priority
5) especially in the sense that shifts representatives' away from "dependance on the people alone", and toward "dependance on the funders alone"

Lessig is a liberal now, but was a Reagan republican and has no problem calling out democrats in the book. Including Obama, who he is/was friends with before he became president.

He spoke about the book and his research @ Google (approx 1hr long):

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