Sneak attack: surprise amendment makes CISPA worse, then it is voted and passed a day ahead of schedule. Congress just deleted the Fourth Amendment

In a sneak attack, the vote on CISPA (America's far-reaching, invasive Internet surveillance bill) was pushed up by a day. The bill was hastily amended, making it much worse, then passed on a rushed vote. Techdirt's Leigh Beadon does a very good job of explaining what just happened to America:

Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for "cybersecurity" or "national security" purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.

Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a "cybersecurity crime". Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government's power.

Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote


      1. I’ve been gathering that other countries actually don’t want us, especially on top of their own problems. Additionally, as others are pointing out, the worst of the US has no problems reaching outside of its borders so we have no choice but to fight it.

        1. I know a fair number of expatriates.  India, Costa Rica, Thailand, the DR, many developing nations are still happy to see Americans  if just for our buying power.  And I’m not saying anything about giving up fighting this BS, just seems safer to do that over a TOR connection from outside US borders.

          1. TOR connections are like waving a big flag saying watch me, watch me!! All of the exit points of the TOR network are closely monitored by government agencies. You are basically just making yourself a more noticeable target.

          2. @twitter-5781312:disqus You are basically just making yourself a more noticeable target.

            Clearly you are not Spartacus.

          3. @twitter-5781312:disqus  “All of the exit points of the TOR network are closely monitored by government agencies. ”


            Er, no. No more than any other internet node is monitored. Tor doesn’t work that way.

            Nice tinfoil hat, though.

          4. Ipo – not South African myself but it’s such a useful word I’ve adopted it into my ‘social networking vocabulary’.

            More than just prancing around. The connotation is that pronking’s supposed to confer evolutionary advantage by demonstrating to the onlooking predator that the community is healthy enough to be unfazed by the presence of said predator, and is basically telling the lion (or state) to go fuck itself.

          5. As others have alluded to – you can sometimes obtain visas that allow you to live in countries like those you list if you’re a big-time investor, or if you get a job there (which is difficult because most employers will put you in a catch-22 – you need a job offer to get a visa, but they’ll only give you a job offer if you can obtain a visa some other way, which you can’t).

            There are lots of expatriates, of course, but most are middle-aged or older people who decided to accept their company placing them in a job in their overseas office, or people who have lots of money and are able to retire (and thus get easier-to-obtain retirement visas) or simply not work and travel from place to place once their visas expire.

            It’s not impossible for a young person to move to another country, certainly, but it requires connections and luck, meaning for most people it essentially is impossible.

            There are those who say “if you don’t like it, leave” – if it were possible to do so, there are plenty of people who would leave. 

            But we can’t. In any case, that’d be taking the easy way out. The conscionable thing to do is to fight for change.

      2. Fools the lot of ye.  It is not time to leave our great (dying) country!!!  Its time to take it back!!!  All that needs to be done is fire every single person from the houses of congress, to the scumbag “lobbyists” (bribesmen), and even the current president and the future failure Romney, and switch them out for real people who still care.  Piece o cake.

        1. Hello, I am under the the impression that it is not all that easy to fire every political figure and lobbyist. Our rights are taken away bit by bit by the “rich and powerful” both because Americans have allowed them to for so long out of party loyalty and ignorance and because politicians are willing to take everything they can and manipulate people to a degree that most other people either won’t or can’t. We can just not vote for them, but then again, who do we vote for to replace them? The ones that are genuinely good people often times don’t get enough press or they become corrupted like many other politicians. We need people that have good sense and intelligence, are honest, don’t let personal opinions get in the way of what is best for the public, and people that are willing and able to see from different perspectives. We need people in office that aren’t greedy, selfish, or prideful to a disgusting degree. We need people that can balance a damn checkbook too. Anyone who has ever had to live on a budget understands that you can’t just say “well my dollar is worth ten normal dollars” and it actually be true. Anyone who has ever tried to get along with their neighbors knows better than to go into the neighbors’ yards and houses and tell them what to believe, what to buy, what to eat, and how to raise their children. But people like that often don’t go for government offices because of politics or because they try to help on a local scale, not a national or global scale. 

    1. What the FUCK is going on? How much pure fucking evil do we have to have our noses rubbed in?



    2. Are you prepared to marry an American so that he can get citizenship in your country?

      1.  Me and my girlfriend can marry an american each if you promise not to bring any baconnaise!

        1. I’m going to assume that’s a serious offer. I’ll arrive in Stockholm at your convenience, and I promise I won’t bring any baconnaise.

    3. Me, I just moved here. And I don’t feel it’s a lost cause. If it wasn’t a lost cause in the 50s, 70s, 90s, it definitely isn’t now. You can’t change the system from outside.

      It just needs people to help campaign for the right thing. And lots of people who know how best to do that, to lead them.

      We have that more than ever now. Through the net, we are organized and collected like we never have been in the past. That’s why they NEED bullshit laws like this: because we stand a very real chance of making real change.

      There are constant victories. Each one just a small step, but they keep going:!/responses
      …etc ad infinitum.

      1. More likely we’ll get an “angry” signing statement  like with NDAA.

        If Obama does that I’m going to vote for Satan as a protest vote.  Satan would be the lesser evil of everyone running, AFAIC.

          1. So you’re saying to choose the devil you know over the devil you know doesn’t exist?

            I’d love to vote in a non-existent entity to just about any part of the lawmaking process; if they don’t exist, they can’t vote for a bad bill, and they can’t sign it into law.

      2. Not even comparable to the NDAA.  No one’s livelihood is attached to this bill.  Of course the House passed it…Obama’s threat to veto was like a dare to them.  If it isn’t killed in the Senate (I’m not really worried)…it will get a veto.  

      3.  Cold comfort… it’s unlikely that the Supreme Court will take “signing statements” to be binding on future administrations.  But you knew that…

  1. I hate to be the buzzkill here, but you can’t just “bypass” the constitution.  First this will have to go through Obama, who has said he’d veto it.  Then, if it gets past him, it has to go through the Court system because you know someone is going to challenge the constitutionality of it.  That is how our system works.  

    1. But while the challenge winds its way through the intestines of our legal system, CISPA would be the law of the land.

      1.  IF Obama signs it.
        Whether he does or not, this vote tells us who to vote for.  Anyone who didn’t vote for this (as one condition)

      1. The mandatory military detention sections he specifically issued the veto threat for were removed, not in the signed version… 

        carry on.

          1. Read the post it was ref to, don’t let any facts get in the way of an argument.

            Also ot, but I find GG’s assertions on this to be disingenuous considering we already had defacto indefinite detention before the NDAA was signed, and the enacted law doesn’t overrule Boumedine or Hamdan caselaw. Gives the prez and AG a stake in a more flexible process, where new cases will use the civ courts unless the detainee breaks their threshold for a national security letter, where they end up in military limbo.

            And I absolutely loathe the law,.believe in Due Process rights and equal protection for the worst of us, but the detainee system was already codified and using dog food for brains arguments does not help that.

      2.  Yup. And that he would filibuster the gutting of FISA when he was in the senate. (Instead he voted for the bill.) And that he would re-open NAFTA if he became president. (Later clarified that in the heat of the campaign, people often say things they don’t mean — read “lie” — in order to get votes…but that as president, corporations and other nations could rest easy ’cause he is really a rigged free market kind of guy.) And that he was against any mandates that didn’t involve a strong public option. (Suckers!) And that he would allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. And that he would hold Wall Street to account. And that he would instruct the DoJ to leave medical marijuana alone. Can’t believe anyone would try to make a case based on “Obama said.”

        (Know how you can tell when a politician is lying? Their lips move.)

          1. He said he reads it, for our comments. 

            What makes you so almost sure?
            Did you sabotage his devices?

      1. Did you feel somehow betrayed when he allowed gays to serve openly, and got OBL killed?

        I mean, sneaky him, doing what he promised just to piss you off more, just to betray the trust you finally had gained in him never doing it.

        He’s a slippery guy.

        1.  Did you feel somehow betrayed when he allowed gays to serve openly…

          Dear Lord, I need hip waders. It’s getting deep in here.

          Obama’s hand was forced on DADT. He had a court ruling to deal with. If not for the courts, DADT would likely still be the law. You give Obama credit where none in due.

        2. He still hasn’t done enough, and much less than he knows is expected from the tenor of his 08 campaign. Just because he’s done a few good things for segments of the population doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s been a jackass on the things that affect the most people. He’s a political coward.

          1. Oh that’s right, nobody is ever doing enough to be a critic, including voting. Anti-intellectualism reigns!

    2. I hate to be the buzzkill here

      That word, “buzzkill”, I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    3. That is how our system is *supposed* to work. Remember, this is pretty much the same Supreme Court that brought you Bush v. Gore.

      And expecting Obama to  make good on a veto promise is crossing into fantasy land.

    4.  @facebook-100000612404232:disqus  Our system no longer works that way. You see, now they can snoop on you, gather information on you, build a profile on you, and store all of it for future use. They can do this without you knowing about it. Since you don’t know that they are doing it, how are you going to challenge it in court?
      In the end, they won’t actually use the information from the online investigation of you in court. They will simply use it as a way to determine who they will investigate in a conventional fashion. In this way, you have nothing to challenge in court.

    5. Yes…and how long will that take? And given the comments of the Supremes over Arizona’s driving-while-Hispanic law, are you *really* that confident that  when it gets to them in five or six years or so, that they won’t say well… it’s for the children, you know. Because it is, now. Check out the last minute amendments.

    1. Supposedly they only claim ownership of certain TLDs. And with the recent opening of a TLD registration market, there are some that are gunning for registering practical TLDs that they will be operating out of more forgiving nations.

      1.  Yes, but they’re claiming ownership to .com and .net.
        This is problematic because .net was originally reserved for key internet infrastructure like root nameservers, if the Americans see this as their jurisdiction, they are essentially claiming jurisdiction over the entire ‘internet’ through the DNS system.

        1. Thinking about Those are a bit of a special case, as they point to not one IP but several around the planet. There was a ruckus a few years back when China managed to get all traffic to either F or I routed to their mirror of those servers.

          Here is a map of where the various root server mirrors are located:

          It is attached to this Wikipedia article:

          And USA do not really need the domain to take control. Note that all the master DNS servers are on US soil. And ICANN still answers to the US department of commerce, iirc.

      2. yes, but the rationale for the MegaUpload seizure was that servers on American soil were involved. This applies to almost all cloud systems, as far as I know.

        1.  I was under the impression the services weren’t hosted in the US, and the US took action because it believed the .com domain was under its jurisdiction.

          1. Megaupload, like many other sites, operated mirrors around the globe. This means that whenever you enter their url into your browser, your connecting to the server mirror closest to you, transparently. US government raided the company that leased servers to Megaupload on US soil (gaining copies of the server drives), and convinced various authorities around the globe to perform arrests and freezing of assets. Because of the latter the mentioned servers are in a legal limbo. The company that leased them to Megaupload wants to erase the drives and lease the hardware to others. Megaupload has said they want to pay for the servers being brought back online so that anyone with legitimate data on them can reclaim it. the US government is blocking that with the claim that the servers may contain child porn. Megaupload has countered that by pointing out that if the server leasing company erase those drives, that could be considered destruction of evidence…

            It is a 3 ring circus, so bring plenty of popcorn…

          2.  @turn_self_off:disqus There is that point, but they have also seized the domain, partly because they believe that it’s their jurisdiction (the DoJ even released a statement to that effect).

          3.  @Topperfalkon:disqus Not the only .com that has been seized recently. Was there not a music blog domain that was in legal limbo for over a year before the ICE rescinded with bare a oops statement?

          4.  @turn_self_off:disqus Ah, yes. I vaguely remember that case. I’m not sure if PPUK covered that at the time although I suspect we might have. I’m pretty certain it came up on TorrentFreak though and perhaps here too

  2. And with the crappy “extradition” treaty that exists between the US and UK, that presumably means those of us in Britain can be ‘disappeared’ for any bullshit reason as well… 51st State indeed…

    1.  Well, in fairness the UK Extradition Treaty Act 2003 stipulates that an extraditable offence in something that would warrant 12 months or greater imprisonment in the UK, so they’d have to prove it breaks UK law first regardless.

      1. Well, if they can’t extradite, they can just declare you a terrorist and drop a bomb on you, regardless of where you live.

      2. Tell that to Richard O’Dwyer… he hasn’t broken a UK law that would require 12 months or more imprisonment, yet he is still having to fight extradition….

        “Speaking before the hearing, Mr O’Dwyer said he was “surprised” when police officers from the UK and America seized equipment at his home in South Yorkshire in November 2010.

        However, no criminal charges followed from the UK authorities.”

        1. The tricky thing in the ETA is that I don’t think there is any requirement that they be charged with an offence in this country or tried for it, simply that they are accused of an extraditable offence. I’m not a lawyer though, so don’t take that as law.

          Furthermore, there are provisions in CDPA that make commercial copyright infringment or profiteering from infringing material (which they claim is the case as the site raised funds through hosted adverts) that makes it a criminal offence with a maximum term of 2 years, making it an extraditable offence.

          Don’t get me wrong though, I fully support O’Dwyer, and I hope he manages to get every level of appeal he can apply for before they ship him out. I hope even more that one of those levels of appeal will downgrade it to a non-extraditable offence.

          1. Indeed the biggest problem with all of these laws and treaties is the presumption of guilt without any evidence having been produced.

            It seems we are heading back to the dark days of Matthew Hopkin and his ilk. An accusation is enough to see you tried, and you’ll end up impoverishing yourself to prove your innocence, with little or no recourse for getting any kind of apology or recompense when/if you’re shown to be the injured party.

          2.  @sickkid1972:disqus Well the supposed point of extradition is that the accused gets tried in the country they are suspected of committing an offence in rather than the one they’re currently based in. There are some more legitimate scenarios cases for it, but it does have the potential to be misused.

            I think if we were to keep an extradition treaty (particularly in my views as a Pirate), it would need a complete rewrite and there’d have to be additional checks that the jurisdiction they’re being extradited to does not have an unreasonable punishment for the severity of the offense (and we should always deny extradition where we believe the death penalty would be used), and only to allow extradition for major criminal offences.

            It would be simpler just the get rid of extradition though, on the provision that those suspected of crimes in other jurisdictions are tried fairly in the country they are resident in, and that any compensation necessary is demanded and repaid fairly as well.

  3. “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a Congress stamping on a human face – forever. “

  4. GAh! Just this morning I was thinking to myself, “I bet they’re going to try some secret voting bullshit on this.”

    Deception is the only way they can pass this bill.

  5. Wow.  Just wow.  
    It’s a very sharp piece of electioneering being played here – if the President vetoes it, then he can be portrayed as defending terrorists, child pornographers and pirates.
    It doesn’t matter how good or bad the rest of it is, that’s the message that will be relentlessly pushed for the next six months.  
    I’m really, really glad I don’t live in the US.  (Not that living in the UK is that much better.)

    1. The UK is going to bring a bill called the Communications Capabilities Development Programme into Parliament in the Queen’s Speech. It’s going to be our equivalent of CISPA

      1. Putting an idea in the Queen’s speech is a long, *long* way from making it law. Given how U-turn-happy our government is, I expect it to rotate at least 540 degrees before settling one way or the other.

        1. Oh I’m well aware of that, although given the timing I’m guessing this’ll be sat on until the elections and then pushed through in the wash-up just like DEAct was. The point was that we don’t even know what will be in the draft yet.

    2.  Considering the threshold possible for differences in societies, I think it’s more than fair to say that Britain and the U.S. are the next best thing past identical twins.

  6. I’ll go one step to the radical side. I hope it passes. Completely. Senate and House. Why? Because it will spark a serious tech revolution around VPN, encryption, key/pair usability and keeping private communications secure from EVERYONE.

    1. Yeah, that was my theory on the possible election of a President Santorum. Turns out I was just trying to make myself feel better, though.

    2. If as much faith as that in people was justified, I doubt we’d find ourselves here in the first place.

      Sure, what you describe will occur amongst the demographic posting here, but the vast majority will just roll over and submit… and most of em won’t even know it’s happening.

      The heinous scum behind this have developed this strategy of relentless ambit claims on our freedom, designed to expose and exploit to the fullest extent possible any weakness in defending those freedoms. The only reason they still don’t know how much they can get away with is that despite their best attempts, they haven’t managed to scrape the bottom of that barrel yet.

      The benighted obliviousness of the populace knows no bounds.

  7. And again, I had think of this:
    “Why won’t anybody think of the children!?”
    “I find it highly suspicious that you seem to constantly think about children. Is that an obsession of yours? Are you some sort of deviant?”

    But sadly the necessary (and laudable) protection of children has been used as ammunition by censorship partisans time and time again. And not just in the US, everyone in and around Germany has probably at least heard of the BPSJ, and its near-gestapo treatment of media under the guise of “protecting children from harmful media”.

    Any media is a danger to those in power, as it allows expression. And as long as they cannot control it, they will try to prohibit it. And we will fight it, time and time again, probably until the end of humanity. Such is life.

  8. This sucks, but I think the passing of a bullshit bill was inevitable. When you have politicians, the film and music industries and their lawyers constantly pouring money and creative effort into something that will make them richer/more powerful they will eventually gain ground regardless of procedure, ethics or law. The rest of the world’s governments secretly (or not so secretly) want to be China, they envy the efficiency of their control and the futility of ignoring their IMMENSE POWER!! But yeah, it will be (and has been) interesting and sad watching the battle for the freedom of internets.

  9. Oh c’mon. It passed the House. Not Congress. It won’t get past the Senate (and Obama has  already promised to veto the weaker version). It’s the equivalent of tantrum (the House is good at those).

    1. I heard that Canada is going to stop minting pennies because they cost more than they are worth. Given Obama’s record, is Obama’s promise to veto something now worth more or less than 1¢ Canadian?

  10. If you would like to see the elected representative who want to destroy the 4th Amendment, here you go:

    Of course the insane Michelle Bachmann, who loves to talk about freedom, voted in favor of this.

  11. I’d like to think that, since they already know Obama is going to veto it, this is just a maneuver to curry favor and look good to backers. My consumer-alert warning always shines bright red whenever someone throws a “save the children” into any legislation.

    1. I’d *like* to think that too, but that’s also not what he said. And it was his staff that said it, I believe. But that statement was “in its current form” and it is no longer in that form. It is arguably worse. But no, he has not said he will veto it.

  12. I very often disagree with Cory’s politics as they involve the Internet and/or U.S. civil law.  But I am not afraid to admit that I agree with him completely on this – this is bulls***.  No one tweets, posts on FB , buys from Amazon, downloads porn (legally or less so), checks in or posts to a BB comment thread on eggshells.  This is because, for the most part, those channels don’t even lend themselves to criminal activity.  The worst that could happen –  considering the uphill battle civil litigants face to even put an IP address to a face – is that you might get sued if you’re unlucky.  But ISPs respond readily to government subpoenas.  I don’t think it’s unrealistic to think that even a single visit to a ‘legal teen’ porn site, for example, could put you within this law’s purview.  Your porn tastes make you a threat to children, therefore your facebook post about ‘celebrating 4/20’ is admissible in your possession case…?  F**ked up.  I’m being very careful to asterisk all this, of course – lest a child reads it and feels threatened….

    Apropos of my handle, I’m inclined to change my handle. No one likes a bully. Antinous, you don’t ever have to read my full posts – I can’t imagine the amount you have to moderate on a daily basis, and I don’t want to be a burden – but if you’re going to take the time out of your day to s**t on me, at least read more than ONE sentence of my post.

    1. I very often disagree with Cory’s politics as they involve the Internet and/or U.S. civil law.  But I am not afraid to admit that I agree with him completely on this

      SO BRAVE

    2. Now you’re making me want to slip some bomb-making advice into Amazon reviews.

    3. “I’m being very careful to asterisk all this, of course – lest a child reads it and feels threatened….”

      Too late, Washington is filled with terrified 5 year olds in suits.

  13. To be honest I’m an EX-Pat from Britain Living in the states with my American wife, and if We could afford to up and leave we would be out of here tomorrow, Primarily to the UK (although I have about as much confidence in the British Government as I do the US at the moment). All comes down to funds for us, and yes we both work Full Time!

  14. Calm and take a deep breath, folks. ‘Congress’ did not pass this (apparently horrible) bill. It passed the House of Representatives. I suppose ignorance of the details of how legislation is approved in the US can be forgiven for an international audience, but I expect most of you know that we have a bicameral legislature here.

    There’s a whole other legislative body (the Sentate) that has to vote before it is sent to the executive branch to be signed. Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives since the 2010 election, but the Senate still has a Democratic majority.

    It is likely that the Republicans will filibusterer (or threaten one, to be precise) and make it impossible to actually get an ‘up-down’ vote on the bill, because it would likely fail given the Democratic leaderships poor opinion of the bill.

    And finally, yes, before any bill can be made into a law, it must pass both bodies of the legislature by a 2/3rd majority or be signed by the President. This did not achieve a 66% passage rate in the House, and Obama said he will veto it anyway.

    Please be more careful when reporting stories to make sure that you have (important!) details correct.

    1. 66% what now? Bills need merely pass, whether by a landslide or by a single vote: a simple majority moves the bill from House to Senate, and again from Senate to the president’s desk. You would seem to be thinking of the two-thirds majority needed to override a presidential veto, required, I believe, by both chambers.

      Please be more careful when correcting stories to make sure that you have (EASILY CHECKABLE!!!!!1!!!!) details correct.

      1. You misunderstood/misread Mr Sewall’s  post. His details were absolutely correct. He was not giving a procedural account, but a requirements list.

        1. You are incorrect. He wrote

          before any bill can be made into a law, it must pass both bodies of the legislature by a 2/3rd majority or be signed by the President.

          Which contains two falsehoods: the two-thirds majority, and the “or” statement. Bills must pass both the House and Senate by a simple majority in each (218 in the House, 51 in the Senate), AND be signed by the president to become laws. 

          Please stop making John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and all the rest of those nice dead revolutionary folks sad.

          1. “…before any bill can be made into a law, it must pass both bodies of the legislature by a 2/3rd majority or be signed by the President” is perfectly correct.  If it passes by simple majority, it requires a Presidential signature.  If it’s to pass without the signature, it needs a 2/3 majority.

          2.  Work on your reading comprehension. Especially when everyone’s telling you you’re wrong. You’re making yourself look like an idiot.

          3. I apologize if I wasn’t clear; I meant to establish that a bill is made into federal law in the US by either passing both chambers of Congress by simple majorities and being signed by the sitting President, or by passing both chambers by a 2/3rd majority alone.

            The bill didn’t not pass the House with a 2/3rds majority, so with Obama’s promised veto, the bill will not pass.

    2. One of my democratic representatives voted for this That’s part of what scares me about this stuff. Across the bipartisan stupidity (or back room collusion – it’s hard to tell unless you can actually get inside these moron’s heads)

    3. It’s only for the fact that my neighbours would give me odd looks for WEEKS that I didn’t react to my first instinct, which was to run out my back door and shout “What the fucking fuckballs is this shit?”

      That this is even happening makes me very concerned about living in Canada and communicating (encrypted and unencrypted) with American friends. That the American government is even attempting to do this is insane.

    4. @google-ef23024e9f5518b7ffbf00e62e39e0ab:disqus “It is likely that the Republicans will filibusterer (or threaten one, to be precise) and make it impossible to actually get an ‘up-down’ vote on the bill,”

      Are you kidding?

      1.  I was not kidding. Since the Senate has a Democratic majority and the democrats seem to be opposed to this bill, allowing a vote would condemn it.

        Since the Democratic majority is not large enough to force a cloture vote (i.e. they don’t have the so-called ‘Supermajority’), the Republicans can prevent the bill from being shot down by the aforementioned fillibuster. In this case, the reason for doing so would be to drum up support for it, but in my experience the longer these sorts of things bounce around without getting passed, popular outrage grows and eventually they croak. Here’s hoping.

  15. Ok, not that it isn’t cr*p*astic, but I may have been a little knee-jerky in my first response.  To my understanding, the newfangled ‘child’ provision deals with “protection of minors from physical or psychological harm.” Quayle, et al, pg. 22, item 6.  Still vague, but certainly more attenuated than the glib and globe-encompassing Techdirt shorthand “protection of children.”  A summary of the sixteen surprise amendments and their respective sponsors is available on page 22 on the techdirt PDF featured after the jump.  Dig the jive.

  16. You do realize that “Congress” != The House, right?

    It was inevitable that the House would pass this thing. The fight remains where it always was: in the Senate and with Obama’s veto pen.

    1. Despite his rhetoric, no president have vetoed fewer laws since James Garfield (1881) — and he was only president for about six months.

      1. That’s a bit silly as a measure. For two years, anything that was passed was passed by the President’s own party in the most partisan times we’ve ever seen, and since then the only things that have passed were effectively unanimous (including the notorious NDAA), because with both parties (and especially the Republicans) voting en bloc that’s the only way things can get passed.

    2. Yeah, while I’m not exactly sanguine about the Senate and Obama making things right by blocking this, it’s only the House. Of course, that’s not going to stop some good old fashioned hand wringing on this thread, and people going through the usual “My God, how do you people live in the U.S.” posts.

      There are a lot of places on the internet where you can get some quality “OMG end of freedom?!?!?” “reporting” because someone found a bill in committee that basically involves lighting the Bill of Rights on fire. But at any given time for the entire history of the U.S. there have been 5+ bills in committee in the House or Senate that have proposed to do just that.

      Of course, this is well past the committee stage now.

  17. If this passes: To the supreme court! It is so obviously unconstitutional! Can I add some more exclaimation points? I will anyway. !!!!!!!

    1. The Supreme Court isn’t going to help. They’re now just a five-person rubber stamp.

      1. Well, not just that. They put Bush in office, they gutted the class action system, they have their own authoritarian ends in addition to approving the military-industrial, prison-industrial, and espionage/content branches’ actions. Were there some other branches of government besides those three?

  18. Nothing just happened to America. Jeez, calm down!

    Crazy Republicans in the House just passed a crazy bill. What else is new? They passed the Ryan budget too, and a hundred other batshit ideas that will never become law.

    Nothing has happened until this passes the Senate, gets reconciled with the House bill, gets repassed by both Houses, gets by an Obama veto, and isn’t shot down by the Supremes. Which basically means this is an election year stunt that won’t go anywhere.

    1. Right. No crazy bill would ever get past Obama. Oh wait: NDAA. Just saying. Let’s not ignore this. Keep pressure on.

      1. NDAA (1) included the entire defense budget and (2) passed the Senate 98-2 (iirc). The President is free to veto a bill that’s passed unanimously, but the veto is guaranteed not to stick.

      2.  I’m not saying ignore it. But Obama has already said he’ll veto it. He can’t go back on that without looking like Romney.

        Also, what Warren_Terra said.

      1. Your childlike belief that the entire government is controlled by a single person is really kind of scary. Didn’t you have to take civics in grade school?

  19. “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 — unless, of course, we say it’s really, really important (and you’ll just have to trust us on that one).”

  20. Feel free to be pissed, because the bill is shit. But there is a lot of baseline ignorance about the nuts and bolts functioning of the U.S. government in this thread. It still has to go through the Senate. Presidential vetoes are powerful, but can be overcome by 2/3 vote in each house. The headline’s use of Congress is factually inaccurate, as this has only passed the house, so “Congress” can’t have destroyed the 4th yet. Also, to nitpick, there would be things that were still protected under the 4th, so it wouldn’t be deleted, just eviscerated.

      1. I’m not saying it’s a good thing, but racing each other to find the most hyperbolic statement of our feelings about something like this just makes opponents of the bill look ignorant. 

        It’s like (in a very small way) Mike Daisey and “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.” The fact that he fabricated/altered the facts for parts of it didn’t mean that people who said the factory conditions in China were fine are correct. It does make the argument that conditions need to change harder for people who say that factory conditions are bad and need to be improved.

        The fact that Cory drastically overstated what happened in the House today does not mean that CISPA is a good bill. But it makes things harder for opponents of the bill because it makes it easier to paint opposition as stemming from ignorance.

        Alternate glib reply because I feel like I always sound too naif and earnest on BB: “I know right?”

    1. First it has to clear the Senate. For all the brouhaha right now, it only seems to be passed in the House. In fact, I have a hunch that the House poisoned the bill with that amendment to ensure that it would die in the Senate, so that they can claim to be tougher than those wimpy Democrats on cybersecurity.

      Let’s hammer home the fact that those that voted for it are not “tough”, they are scared little wimps hoping to hire bullies to protect themselves.

    2. It amazes me how dumb people routinely pretend to be informed. He already signed ACTA into law, which has many of the same provisions. You hopeychangers were too blinded by his aura to see it.

      1.  Well, if you’re going to get all critical of people’s knowledge…

        ACTA is a treaty, not a law. And while it has been signed, it has not been ratified…

        …so your statement only pretends to be informed.

  21. do people not realize that EVERYTHING online is free game? anyone can acess your information at anygiven time if they tried hard enough. The web is NOT a private place. The government could “spy” on us whether we know about it or not. I have nothing to hide, they can acess all the info of mine they would like. Also there are several case laws regarding “privacy” and the internet. The internet has not and will never be regarded as a private medium. I dont understand why people get so worked up over this stuff.

    1. OH FINALLY! It took this long in this thread to get a “if you have nothing to hide” comment? All the other authoritarian-loving lackey’s of big brother must still be snoozing.

      I get a sneaky feeling that all your personal correspondences are so boring that no one would WANT access to them. Please refrain from offering to give up everyone else’s right to privacy just because you don’t care about yours.

    2. Its a very narrow path between having access to all ur information and read/write access. As you might have recently read in germany top hackers exposed a government funded and backed programme that essentially was able to hack into home computers give access and let anyone manipulate and add content to the infected machine. So it would be easy for the government to put illegal content on your computer (think of some poor children we need to protect) and voila you are discredited and convicted.i am not saying this is what the bill does directly but its the first step towards this 2 step motion.

    3.   I dont understand why people get so worked up over this stuff.

      True, you don’t. 
      But why aren’t you embarrassed to admit that? 

  22. “…three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children.”
    I do not have any objection. This seems like a reasonable law to me. For those of you that think otherwise, i encourage you to protest, petition and contact your representatives, WE THE PEOPLE have the power, that`s the way America was designed.

    1. you do not have any objection? Why the hell not? Protection of individuals? Do you not realize how broad that is? You’re living in a country that thinks fake designer handbag are a matter of national security and you aren’t afraid of what they would think “protection of individuals” allowed them to do? Really? It must be nice to be so complacent. Just remember that cattle are complacent too and it’s not a survival trait.

    1. In corporate America, television watches you. Also in Sweden, so no schadenfreude from this end.

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