Prompted by “Congress Adds ‘CISA’ To ‘Omnibus’ Budget Bill, Up To President Obama To Veto”: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/cisa-included-in-budget-bill,30755.html
The Fight for the Future civil liberties organization announced that CISA, the “surveillance bill by another name,” was added to the “must-pass” budget bill for next year as a way to make it virtually unstoppable.
Now, FFTF is calling on President Obama to keep his promise that he would veto any cybersecurity bill that doesn’t have proper privacy protections. CISA already had some weak privacy protections when it passed the Senate. Then, when it was merged with two other similar bills from the House, all of those privacy protections were completely removed.
The new bill would give the NSA the opportunity to “take lead” on getting the data directly from private companies, as opposed to the DHS doing so as a civil agency, and then passing a sanitized version of that data over to the NSA.
The bill also expands the liability protection companies get from sharing the data with the NSA or the DHS, which means there could be many more opportunities for abuse.
This is a serious problem with our society.
People passionate enough to stand up to defend the critical veil of privacy dominantly leverage (via hope) the highly questionable power of a politician’s promise.
The oligarchy has infiltrated our lives deeply. All of those “free” apps are recording and sending lots of data reflecting our lives to (probably) strangers for analysis for best through worst.
Knowledge is power, and that data forms serious knowledge.
A cry from the FBI also resonates to ensure encryption can always be instantly penetrated by the oligarchy, because (as history shows often enough) we can trust them to protect us without ironically abusing us, right?
You can press for all of the legal butchery in the name of anything to stop oligarchical data collection, but you can never guarantee those laws matter (e.g. government generating that data on its own via surreptitious means).
Logically speaking, the proper line of defense is the data gateway(s) separating you from them. That means people truly desiring “free” apps (i.e. data intrusion) can continue to open the gateway door (the one for their home, car, portable device, and/or any other one that I may be missing) voluntarily in that regard.
It also means that people desiring privacy (e.g. yours truly) can turn to people capable of competently (e.g. without any conflict of interest) building an intuitive and simple data analysis tool (or preferably a bunch of them that end up competing with each other for overall strength) to become a data guard keeping track of what data comes and goes — so you have the power to decide if that “free” app is truly worth it.
Then it wouldn’t matter that the NSA has direct access to company data, because you would be in full control over what data the company has.
What way too many people forget is the power of the vote is terribly lame as the sole public leverage. We also have leverage as consumers, and the powerful laws of supply and demand can easily be on our side, if we demand wisely.
With that economic leverage, we have the small business defense.
If a major corporation is being abusive (aside from the illegal form of abuse, which must be prosecuted), then a small company can innovatively supply the demand and compete against the problem(s) formed by that abuse.
For example, if we didn’t have a government-sanctioned medical monopoly — and all the price-fixing and other devastating abuses accompanying it — then likely more than one small business could innovatively look at a $400 (or such) cost for simply a regular checkup with your doctor, and bring sanity by selling uninsured visits of high-Yelp-communicating quality — similar to avoiding the need for car insurance for a regular checkup (insurance should be only for emergency situations). The price would come way down as a result, because it doesn’t cost $400 (or such) for a doctor to provide a simple and brief checkup (fair competition necessarily ensures that price is minimized).
Critically note that $400 (or such) comes fully from “We the taxpayers”, so there’s ultimately no such thing as free healthcare (or any other free government product/service).
Privacy is a feature and not a right (albeit that’s debatable, but that debate forms the obvious weakness from the questionable application of that right — e.g. as coincidentally evident in this post).
As I’ve said before, the value of the veil of national security is inherently tied to the value of the veil of privacy. If privacy is degraded, so too automatically is national security.
We must demand that privacy feature in our technology, and demand anti-competition laws be firmly upheld (e.g. not negated for “free” healthcare).
Traditional leftists need to become true progressives (preferably scientific constitutionalists) by ceasing the insane judicial regulatory approach to everything in terms of risk management and coercive charity by demonizing the private sector to empower the public sector — i.e. by insanely demonizing the oligarchy to empower the oligarchy, because there really is no sector line in power (both sectors form an oligarchical community and the many powerful relationships therein to form the so-called 1% of society — public safety be damned as needed, because they’re clearly unethically above the law).
Again, we can’t necessarily rely upon the rule-of-law, but we can rely upon the rule of technology combined with wisdom.