Our Ruling Classes Launch Fresh Assault on Us

House passes CISPA, which effectively strips you of all fourth amendment rights if you happen to be using a computer.

Feel safer, or you could be an enemy of the State.

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  • JB

    Heh, when I tried to click that link it said “can’t find the server”.

    • Benjamin Shea

      Yep, dead link……they don’t even want you reading about it……..

  • No need for conspiracy theories just yet. Mark goofed when typing the beginning of the URL.
    If I haven’t goofed, the following link should work correctly.

  • First on the list I am sure will be CAEI……

  • I’m not saying it’s a good idea, but I also am having difficulty grasping why the 4th amendment protects any information stored on the internet anyway.

  • B.E. Ward
  • Nick R

    Thankfully the Obama Administration has said they intend to veto this abomination. (not that that mean they will, but its a good sign)

    @ Andy, because information stored on the internet is not necessarily public, it can (and almost always is) stored on private servers, which the government has no right to access without due process of law. This information can include a log of all IP addresses (which can be linked to websites) visited by another IP address (which can be linked to your home). They presumably could also read mail servers (containing emails) and any other servers containing files pictures or other information you stored online with a third party.

    Also, Ars Technica is always a good source of tech info, and I’m glad Mark didn’t call this another SOPA or PIPA, which many people are doing. It’s still evil, but in a different manner.
    Here’s some more links for the interested.

    • Mark Shea

      Obama also said he’d veto NDAA. He signed it–after the last shreds of prevention against his utterly draconian abuse of power were stripped out of it.

      These people are not our friends.

    • Andy, because information stored on the internet is not necessarily public, it can (and almost always is) stored on private servers, which the government has no right to access without due process of law.

      Perfect explanation. Thanks! It helps when I don’t think of Teh Internets as just some monolithic thing “out there,” but as many privately owned, interconnected computers.

      Just because I connect my house to the sidewalk doesn’t mean you can come in uninvited, is what you’re saying.

  • Ted Seeber

    As a software engineer, I decided in 1988 to act as if all privacy online was an illusion. I found out quickly that my privacy means nothing to me, because to a large extent, I don’t care what people think.

    Due to that, you’ll find googling me will take you on an interesting ride through my evolving political perspective since 1992 or so; before that my online access was pretty much limited to FidoNet which is not on google.

    It is also why I prefer to use my real name online these days instead of a pseudonym.

    • no one

      how do you manage to keep your job as a software engineer? or is the threat of losing your job an illusion?

      /sans snark (- sincerely looking for an honest opinion.)

    • Maiki

      Best practices don’t equal ideals and rights. Just because something is a “bad idea” doesn’t mean one does not have an expectation of privacy and the rights that follow therefrom. It is true it is naive to expect privacy from a locker at a gym, for example. That doesn’t mean the police have a right to search them without a warrant.

      The “internet” should be the same. Otherwise, a lot of things we do online, like banking, data backups, etc. become insecure and ultimately, will diminish the usability of the net.

    • Linebyline

      I don’t care all that much what people think of me. (Yeah, I’m easily offended, but I can get over it.) But I sure care if a bunch of strangers are going through my stuff for no legitimate reason.

      True, privacy on the Internet is a joke. If someone really wants to track you down, they can. If someone wants your information badly enough, they’ll probably get it. You can’t take anything back, and you can’t count on anything not being repeated and forwarded and stored on strangers’ hard drives for the rest of time.

      But! Consider these two things:

      First, and more importantly, no woman should go out alone in the bad part of town after dark. This does not mean that she has no right to be able to use a public sidewalk and not get raped. It just means that it’s highly likely that someone will come along and violate that right. Of course, people getting hold of your personal information is not as bad as getting raped. Far be it from me to imply otherwise. The point is, unless there’s something magical about computers that changes what principles of justice apply (Hint: There’s not), then the likelihood of someone’s rights being violated in a given circumstance does not impact whether that person has those rights in the first place.

      Second, these days people post a lot more sensitive information to the Internet because they’ve been told it won’t be public: “Private” posts on Facebook, credic card numbers stored by Amazon or PayPal, the entire contents of your hard drive (albeit encrypted) flowing through Carbonite or Crashplan or whoever. These services plainly tell you that your data are safe and private with them. That can include any personal e-mail they’ve sent or received, mountains of financial information, and various other things you wouldn’t want strangers getting their hands on without a darned good reason. And it gets better: Banks and the IRS are rabidly encouraging people to go online and transmit sensitive financial information, and many places already require it. In other words, it’s not just exchanging non-sensitive information that people do online these days; all their stuff is there. (And that applies even if they didn’t put it online themselves; pretty much everything goes through the Internet at some point.)

  • no one

    IMHO, Google needs bills like this to pass to backtrack and justify what they were already doing, which was cooperating with the federal government with .. whatever under the sun:


    And then there were all those government “retirees” from who found fresh corporate employment with Google, etc.

    It’s all downhill from here.