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Google, Apple Lead Massive List of Companies Supporting CISPA

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the wonder-if-they-know-that dept.

Government 153

redletterdave writes "TechNet, the trade association representing and led by dozens of prominent technology companies including Google, Apple and Facebook, has formally come out in support of CISPA, sending a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives. The letter said: 'We commend the committee for providing liability protections to companies participating in voluntary information-sharing and applaud the committee's efforts to work with a wide range of stakeholders to address issues such as strengthening privacy protections. As the legislative process unfolds, we look forward to continuing the dialogue with you and your colleagues on further privacy protections, including discussions on the role of a civilian interface for information sharing.'" The White House won't support the bill in its current form, but they plan to work with legislators on a compromise. The current text of the bill is available online.

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Google hates privacy (5, Interesting)

drinkydoh (2658743) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434391)

I'm not surprised to see Google as the main supporter of CISPA. They have a long track record of privacy violations and lessening privacy of internet users. They are, like we all know, worlds largest advertising house.

Google has also been heavily pushing it's real-name policy. They are trying to convert YouTube users to using their real names instead of nicknames. They want to (but don't succeed) have people use their social network Google+, and they want to link everyones searches directly to the real names. Hell, have you noticed how Google's advertisements on other sites like Slashdot change based on what you've been recently searching on Google.

The Internet as we know it is coming to an end. Everyone sees this but doesn't act. They just let Google steal all of their privacy. Google and CISPA must be stopped and it's your only time to act!

Re:Google hates privacy (4, Informative)

White Flame (1074973) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434489)

Hell, have you noticed how Google's advertisements on other sites like Slashdot change based on what you've been recently searching on Google.

The least you could do (besides an adblocker, assuming you haven't already got one and are whitelisting slashdot) is disable all cookies, enabling exceptions for sites you want. It's scary seeing how many cookies from how many different sites a single page tries to set nowadays. By disabling all by default, I end up enabling only the one(s) required for login, and it leaves all the other tracking cookies blocked. Sure, there are non-cookie ways to track, especially by IP and browser version/feature fingerprint, but Google no longer remembers my searches with just blocked cookies.

It's the infromation sharing (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43434641)

"We commend the committee for providing liability protections to companies participating in voluntary information-sharing and applaud the committee's efforts to work with a wide range of stakeholders to address issues such as strengthening privacy protections," Ramsey said

It's the information sharing - and possibly getting it wrong - that has folks really worried.

It's not so much that Google knows where you have been browsing (extremely creepy and worrying as that is), it's also that they can share the information with Facebook and vice versa. And they can that with 2 companies and they their information with 2 other companies and so on and so on and so on and with government.

And as we have seen with the stupidity and incompetence of government and the private sector, individuals get hurt and sometimes devastated for life and these mega-corps walk away no harm done to them.

And this law, is about making sure no harm comes to them. If by their information sharing, I get wrongfully arrested or worse, I would have no recourse. Even if I get acquitted, I'll have tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, at least and no recourse to recover any it from these companies if this becomes law.

That's the problem.

This is just another sign that corporate America wants to ruin this country's values for their bottom line.

Re:Google hates privacy (5, Informative)

Bigby (659157) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434653)

The GP is an ad itself. No need to reply to it. Notice the new ID and the posting at the same time article was posted.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434941)

It also has a username similar to an existing one, drinkypoo (153816). Suspicious.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436329)

It also has a username similar to an existing one, drinkypoo (153816). Suspicious.

Next up: Sponge Doh (2661337)

Re:Google hates privacy (4, Informative)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434751)

Took me under 5 seconds to put "firefox prevent google tracking" into my google toolbar and that brings up:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/remove-google-tracking/ [mozilla.org]

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/gdc/ [mozilla.org]

and a hella comprehensive guide for thick tin-foil hats:

http://www.leavegooglebehind.com/how-tos/how-to-build-a-firefox-privacy-arsenal/ [leavegooglebehind.com]

Re:Google hates privacy (3, Informative)

Ash Vince (602485) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435015)

Hell, have you noticed how Google's advertisements on other sites like Slashdot change based on what you've been recently searching on Google.

The least you could do (besides an adblocker, assuming you haven't already got one and are whitelisting slashdot) is disable all cookies, enabling exceptions for sites you want.

Of course the other alternative is to contribute a small amount to the costs of running a website like slashdot by becoming a subscriber. Then you can see no ads what so ever if you so chose.

Seriously, running and hosting a website is expensive. If you completely removed all adverts from the web then many websites would simply have to close as it is impossible to reliably host something popular without incurring costs.

I have nothing to do with slashdot, but I do work as technical lead for a site that probably has nowhere near as much traffic and I know we have to pay a fair whack for our hosting even before you pay my colleagues and myself to actually develop the site. There are free or very cheap hosting companies but they either don't guarantee enough uptime or don't let you go above bandwidth caps.

Re:Google hates privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43435907)

Running and hosting a website is not free, but IT IS NOT EXPENSIVE. It is just electrons, no trees cut down to make paper, no postage, no fat lazy postmen delivering magazines, no delivery trucks burning gas and needing repairs, no distribution centers, etc. And sites like this and facebook are user generated. That means very few employees. Maybe a little programming now and then. Read the article "user generated content: the new sweatshops". I wouldn't complain too much about how much you and your colleagues get paid, because you can outsourced in a jiffy.

Re:Google hates privacy (4, Informative)

Cederic (9623) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436091)

Running and hosting a website is not free, but IT IS NOT EXPENSIVE. It is just electrons, no trees cut down to make paper, no postage, no fat lazy postmen delivering magazines, no delivery trucks burning gas and needing repairs, no distribution centers, etc.

I agree. I mean, it costs Google a mere $4bn a quarter to run and host their sites. If you only want reliable hosting with failover, uptime, bandwidth and performance SLAs and security patching then the costs are utterly trivial.

Re:Google hates privacy (2)

BenoitRen (998927) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436651)

Seriously, running and hosting a website is expensive. If you completely removed all adverts from the web then many websites would simply have to close as it is impossible to reliably host something popular without incurring costs.

Ads aren't the only way to financially support a website. Also, $DEITY forbid that a website would cost something to keep online. The horror!

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436615)

The least you could do (besides an adblocker, assuming you haven't already got one and are whitelisting slashdot) is disable all cookies, enabling exceptions for sites you want.

Discrimination is on the rise, though. First it was the user agent string, then disabling JavaScript, and now they are targeting users who have cookies disabled. Imagine my surprise when earlier this week I tried to read something on TV Tropes but was denied because of my web browser settings: "This site requires JavaScript and Cookies to be enabled. Please change your browser settings or upgrade your browser."

Re:Google hates privacy (5, Insightful)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434715)

have you thought for one second... to stop using google?

It's not like there's not other mail providers, search providers, and little applets floating around the web that have nothing to do with google. If google's behavior is becoming unacceptable STOP USING IT.

How you people continue to knock a service that is completely free for you to use is beyond me.

Ignorance check: did you know there were major search engines that aren't US based and thus are not subject to CISPA?

Re:Google hates privacy (3, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434859)

What about the people that actually like the loss of privacy? I search for something on my work computer, and that search is in my history on my home computer and even my phone. Seamless computing experience. The actual usability is why people like it. It just works, and gives value.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

mattventura (1408229) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435007)

You can use a service that does the same thing without the invasion of privacy.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436447)

What service is that?

Re:Google hates privacy (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435045)

I don't care either to be honest. The seamlessness is nice, but as a choice between evils, microsoft offers similar usability. And I think if google truly went to the dogs, OSI competition would rise up in the constant rise and fall of internet empires to challenge and one day succeed google. I don't think google's patented immortality last I checked. They just happen to have a lot of wiggle room to fuck up with years and years of green.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436437)

There aren't any services which have the same abilities, which don't also have the same theoretical drawbacks, until we build our own on a home server.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43434865)

You know Google can and does track you on every website that shows Google AdSense or uses Google analytics, right?

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435005)

There's a ton of ways to prevent that, but for the common user it could be troublesome. What I'd like to see is google implement do-not-track, but if I recall they screamed bloody murder on their revenue streams when asked.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436675)

You do realise that Do Not Track is a joke, right? It's only a suggestion. No website actually has to honor that request.

Re:Google hates privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43435075)

NoScript. Certain unnamable files located in /etc/. No problem.

Re:Google hates privacy (4, Informative)

misanthropic.mofo (1891554) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434871)

have you thought for one second... to stop using google?

Exactly, DuckDuckGo FTW.

Uh... you CAN'T stop uing Google anymore (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43435283)

There is no opt-out for Google anymore. In fact, I dare you to not send an email directly or indirectly to a gmail user (and avoid calling or texting anyone who uses an Android phone) for ONE MONTH. You simply can't do it if you want to communicate at all these days. This is of course not to mention all the other sites that use their analytic services, ad networks, their other subsidiaries, etc.

Please post back here if you succeed with this boycott and still have a job at the end of that month.

It is simply no longer possible to boycott these companies (especially Google) if you want to use the Internet at all. They will have your data (and share it with whoever asks thanks to CISPA) no matter what. :/

We need end-to-end cryptographic security to protect us from such vultures.

Re:Uh... you CAN'T stop uing Google anymore (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435409)

Please post back here if you succeed with this boycott and still have a job at the end of that month.

You're not even a good troll, get back in your hole asshat. We use in-house/the cloud if you can even comprehend what business systems look like. Some tiny businesses use google, but I can go a lifetime without dealing with those, so I think I'm safe.

Re:Google hates privacy (3, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435349)

have you thought for one second... to stop using google?

Sounds good. OK, quick: Link ten major websites that don't have embedded Google tracking code (including javascript embeds from Google, Google Analytics, Google APIs, Google Code, GStatic, etc). You'll be able to find ten, I'm sure, but it won't be the first ten you try.

Re:Google hates privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43435379)

This is why I install Ghostery.

Re:Google hates privacy (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435431)

How about I link you to a google free internet experience instead?

http://noscript.net/ [noscript.net]

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435389)

It's not like there's not other mail providers, search providers, and little applets floating around the web that have nothing to do with google. If google's behavior is becoming unacceptable STOP USING IT.

That's the direct use case. How do you avoid using Google without breaking the web? Google Analytics is everywhere, and webmasters often force you to redirect through Analytics.

Then there's all the +1 buttons. The Google CDN. The Google owned ad networks. Google owned javascript libraries used by many. YouTube embeds. And probably dozens of other smaller things webmasters use that are owned by Google in some form of another.

Nevermind on the mobile side, where you can have Google serving up ads (both Android and iOS, and probably others as well). Or deliberately tracking you (on iOS where Google worked around Safari's privacy settings).

Or if your buddy only uses GMail? Or Google Apps for Domains?

And don't forget about Google Groups, scanning and archiving Usenet. Or Google Checkout.

Avoiding Google is about as practical as not owning a car in North America. Sure you can do it in some cities, but in most of the others, it's not practical at all.

Hell, you can avoid Facebook far more easily than Google.

Re:Google hates privacy (3, Informative)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434777)

Google CEO: If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

Re:Google hates privacy (4, Insightful)

djdanlib (732853) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435161)

Yep. So I guess we have to go back to pre-Internet life according to that guy. I'll stop arranging surprise birthday and Christmas gifts for the people I care about, then. And I'll stop booking tables for my dates online. I'll also wait to consult my doctor for things that look like minor medical concerns, and stick to the offline first-aid book when I can't remember how to treat some minor injury. I'll also just use the old-fashioned phone book to look up each store I want to comparison-shop and call them one by one.

My point is in agreement with yours... Some things just aren't other peoples' business, but that doesn't make those things nefarious.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435425)

What if I don't want anyone to know that I'm opposed to the actions of my government? I live in a country where it's unlikely (but not impossible) I'll get in trouble for that opinion, but most people in the world don't have that luxury.

Re:Google hates privacy (2)

AlamedaStone (114462) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435471)

Google CEO: If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

+1, bleak unavoidable future

Although I suppose we might hit singularity first, in which case who gives a fark.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435667)

It's only a singularity for an outside observer. Those in it experience it in all the gory and mediocre detail.

Tell that to the governments of the world. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43435851)

Ah, seems like in that case, they CAN insist on nobody knowing.

Wikileaks manages to get past that, mind, but so many people INSIST on government secrecy, yet have insisted everyone else bend over to corporations to allow the plebians actions to be public.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434925)

What are the specific problems in the examples you bring up? Privacy is my right, and google should only have information on me I want it to, I'm not trying to make an argument here, nor am I defending google. I just would like to have an answer if I get into a discussion with someone if they ask "What's the problem with google knowing what I search for on google, or knowing my real name on my youtube account?"

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

Lumpio- (986581) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434947)

How is getting targeted ads going to "end the Internet as we know it"? Stop exaggerating.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

AlamedaStone (114462) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435513)

How is getting targeted ads going to "end the Internet as we know it"? Stop exaggerating.

Some people can't do healthy legal things publicly without risk of serious real world repercussions, from demotion and firing to risk of death. The internet has been a place where people can feed the parts of themselves that could ruin them (or others) otherwise. Repression and shame are killers.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

Lumpio- (986581) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435709)

If it's anonymity you want, there's software for that. Anonymity online hasn't ever been guaranteed unless you take some steps to ensure that.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

AlamedaStone (114462) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435863)

If it's anonymity you want, there's software for that. Anonymity online hasn't ever been guaranteed unless you take some steps to ensure that.

There's a vast difference between anonymity not being guaranteed and having every detail CCed directly to TPTB. There's also something to be said for NOT fetishizing security, particularly for people wrestling with personal shame.

BURN IN HELL SHILL! (-1, Flamebait)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435187)

Blatant anti-Google shill spotted, see his post & submission history!

Re:BURN IN HELL SHILL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43435481)

What is an "anti-google" shill? Also, whats wrong with being anti-google? Not everyone wants to give a blowjob to google like you. Most of us are weary of slimy advertising companies and google is just one of them.

Besides.. using your logic the majority of commenters on this website would be "anti-microsoft shills". But ofcource.. there is nothing particularly wrong with being anti-microsoft either. :)

Re:BURN IN HELL SHILL! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435913)

What's wrong with being an anti-Googlr shill, vs. just being anti-Google, is the false presentation of paid PR as a legitimate, unbiased personal opinion. Normal people who aren't nuts post and submit articles about things other than how bad Company X is. I'm no Google fanboy, don't know what gave you that opinion. I've been accused of being a Nintendo fanboy by people who aren't good with spacing and capitalization.

Re:Google hates privacy (1)

claytongulick (725397) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436527)

Hell, have you noticed how Google's advertisements on other sites like Slashdot change based on what you've been recently searching on Google.

Yes indeed, and I'm glad. I'd rather see an ad for something I'm interested in than constant True.com or e-harmony adds.

The Internet as we know it is coming to an end.

The internet as I know it starts with the Google home page. And yes, I was there during the 1200 baud dial-up BBS days. Or are you saying you prefer Bing? Are you honestly going to tell me that we are worse off now that we have a universe of information at our fingertips than we were back in the IRC days? Really?

Everyone sees this but doesn't act. They just let Google steal all of their privacy. Google and CISPA must be stopped and it's your only time to act!

Steal my privacy? Hardly. When I walk into the Home Depot and ask the cashier where I can find a garden hose, he tells me, and also suggests some other products I might be interested in since I'm there looking for a garden hose. I'm really happy he does. Well, damn, I guess he just "stole my privacy". I suppose it would be better for me to have to wander every aisle and manually check every product until I can find it huh?

I can talk to my phone and say "What's the population of Isreal?" and my freaking phone will answer me. With citations. And for this mind blowing ability, the cost I must pay is to see advertisements that I'm interested in? We're living in a unimaginable universe that even the authors of Star Trek couldn't envision - and for that phenomenal access to the collective intelligence of mankind, I get unobtrusive suggestions for products that might help me out. And your answer to this is "Google must be stopped?" What the hell?

How about, "Thanks Google. Thanks for being a large part of making the world into a Sci-Fi fantasy. And by the way, thanks for doing it in a really ethical way. We see you, and we appreciate you."

Important (-1, Offtopic)

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bah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43434451)

Get some PRIORITIES man

Re:Important (-1, Redundant)

neminem (561346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434513)

Hilarious. I was actually curious if this was a real site (it is), and if it was a joke, or an actual scam (the latter), and if it was an actual scam, what sort (the sort where there's a hidden-in-fine-print 140$ charge to purchase the "system", and when you get it in the mail, the system is presumably a piece of paper that says "ha ha, sucker!")

Important (-1)

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really (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43434465)

"providing liability protections to companies participating" - So that's why Google was resisting? We are boned.

"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (5, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434473)

"I guess we just have to try EVEN HARDER!"

Seriously, who are these people fooling? ..Then again, people get awfully tired of fighting the same battle over and over again, and often eventually just concede. We need to propose legislation outright forbidding this kind of shit. It's really the only way, else they will just keep shuffling commas and semicolons around in the text, and resubmitting.

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (2, Insightful)

PFactor (135319) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434541)

That will only work for maybe 200 years. Example: the 2nd amendment's "shall not be infringed" bit that's been blatantly ignored for the last few decades. The founding fathers made that as clear as they could, yet we're still screwing it up. What makes you think we can make our intentions any clearer for any longer?

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43434819)

The founding fathers didn't make anything clear, otherwise it'd all be cut and dried by now.

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43434825)

So has 'well regulated'

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43435183)

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434965)

The third amendment is holding pretty strong.

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (1)

hondo77 (324058) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435715)

The founding fathers made that as clear as they could...

If you think the founding fathers acted as one on anything, much less made the 2nd Amendment clear, then your opinion of their actions really can't be trusted.

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436287)

The founding fathers made that as clear as they could...

If you think the founding fathers acted as one on anything, much less made the 2nd Amendment clear, then your opinion of their actions really can't be trusted.

Yea, sure, and if OP had actually said that, I would agree.

However, "Making things as clear as they could" != assuming they agreed on everything.

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434561)

This is how laws are done today. You think a law gets voted down and that's it? Think again. Whenever you see some company not getting its way, be it due to public outcry or be it because even politicians could see that it's not a good idea, rest assured that they won't drop it. It will come back again. In some other form, maybe with less public exposure and much more hushed up, but it WILL COME BACK.

Companies don't back down when it comes to getting their laws approved. They will keep pushing more money into Capitol Hill hos 'til they have enough to actually get it passed.

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (-1, Troll)

atriusofbricia (686672) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434725)

This is how laws are done today. You think a law gets voted down and that's it? Think again. Whenever you see some company not getting its way, be it due to public outcry or be it because even politicians could see that it's not a good idea, rest assured that they won't drop it. It will come back again. In some other form, maybe with less public exposure and much more hushed up, but it WILL COME BACK.

Companies don't back down when it comes to getting their laws approved. They will keep pushing more money into Capitol Hill hos 'til they have enough to actually get it passed.

You seem to think this is just the way laws that companies want works. Look at gun control. Those who are against it have to keep fighting it over and over and over and over and over again. Whereas the bad guys, those who want to take away rights, only have to win once. Well, until they decide they want more then they only have to win that part once.

Bad laws rarely die unless those pushing them finally give up.

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43435209)

Those who are against it have to keep fighting it over and over and over and over and over again. Whereas the bad guys

Uh, you decide who is good and who is bad based on whether they differ with you on opinion?

What if you're a fucking psychopath, is it still the 'bad guys' that don't want you armed to the teeth? Or is it ok to infringe on their rights, but just not yours?

Frankly, I see both sides of gun control and can certainly sympathize with those who feel they have the right to be safe from potential psychopaths such as yourself.

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43435253)

PS, in case you doubt the 'potential psychopath' label, see how many of these fit you: ...characterized by at least 3 of the following:
1. Callous unconcern for the feelings of others;
2. Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations;
3. Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them;
4. Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence;
5. Incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment;
6. Marked readiness to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior that has brought the person into conflict with society.

I'll bet at least three, and your attitude reflected in your post confirms two.

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (4, Insightful)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435393)

The assault weapons ban only lasted ten years. So much for only having to win once. Also, calling your political opponents 'bad guys' is childish. They may be wrong, but people don't want to ban guns out of malice. Hell, for the longest time I wanted handguns and assault rifles banned because they really are terrible things. I didn't change my mind because I stopped seeing them as terrible, I changed my mind because I realized that banning such things is impractical in this country. Too many already exist and the technology is too basic to stop enthusiasts. My contempt for tools designed exclusively to kill human beings is still as fervent as ever despite the fact that I no longer support weapon bans.

The way I look at it, owning an assault rifle is like owning a guillotine. Sure, I could use it on an animal, but that wouldn't really be practical as there are many other better tools for the job. It only does one thing well: kill people.

I sympathize with those who want to ban such things, it's pretty easy considering I once felt the same way, but I recognize legislation as a poor solution. I think the main appeal of such weapons to most people is their taboo nature. We'd probably have a lot less handguns and assault rifles in this country is no one was trying to ban them. It's like when you tell a child that something is bad. They immediately want it.

Bad laws rarely die unless those pushing them finally give up.

This doesn't seem very logical to me. My guess is that most laws that are proposed in the legislature 1) are bad 2) die quickly 3) die without those pushing them giving up. What ever made you say such a thing?

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (1)

Shompol (1690084) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436089)

tools designed exclusively to kill human beings

Stronger human beings have been killing weaker human beings throughout history. Firearms changed that, so they must be a good thing. Welcome to the XVIII century!

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (1, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436261)

tools designed exclusively to kill human beings

Stronger human beings have been killing weaker human beings throughout history. Firearms changed that, so they must be a good thing. Welcome to the XVIII century!

"God created men; Samuel Colt made them equals." - Unknown

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (1)

katarn (110199) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436253)

I'm not sure the point you are trying to make; are you saying special interests keep trying to get bad bills past, are you saying they dont, or are you saying it doesn't matter? Oh, and I keep hearing the tired old argument of "assault rifles are only good for one thing: killing people". This is still as false as it ever was. With the literally MILLIONS of assault rifles sold, why aren't ther millions of deaths? Because millions of people have found things to do with them other than killing people, that's why. If you can only think of killing someone when you hold an assault rifle, I guess I'm glad you choose to not have one. But for the rest of us we've found other ways to occupy our time.

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (1)

kborer (1420531) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436643)

If you think "assault weapons" are only for killing people, then you've never shot one.

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43435817)

Companies don't back down when it comes to getting their laws approved. They will keep pushing more money into Capitol Hill hos 'til they have enough to actually get it passed.

This is almost exactly what Costco did in Washington state to get the liquor system privatized (the people were voting on it via an initiative system). They didn't get the proposal approved one year, so they came back the next year with a massive advertising budget ($22 million) and finally got it approved. It was the most disgusting thing I've ever seen. I voted against it on the principle of "I hate corporate money in my government and laws".

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43436587)

You mean "Capital Hill", don't you?

(Google and Apple have the "capital" and that's how laws are done today.)

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43434701)

Then again, people get awfully tired of fighting the same battle over and over again, and often eventually just concede

And that, describes how the process works in general, on all subjects.

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434731)

Seriously, who are these people fooling?

Easy enough to answer. Watch:

Isn't this CISPA crap evidence enough that the type of government we have today has either been designed to abuse the People or is of a flawed designed, such that such abuse cannot be prevented?

Now check the replies to this comment, defending 'democracy', hollering on about Somalia, blood in the streets, cats and dogs living together, and you'll have your answer.

Re:"Oh noes! The people keep voting it down!" (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435719)

No government is incorruptible. Governments are Turing-complete because they contain humans, therefore any behaviour is possible.

The anal-probe industry likes it (4, Funny)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434483)

All the companies named are from the anal-probe sector of the tech industry.

Re:The anal-probe industry likes it (3, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434995)

I don't see EA on that list. No anal-probe industry is complete without the kind hand of Electronic Arts.

Re:The anal-probe industry likes it (1)

AlamedaStone (114462) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435593)

I don't see EA on that list. No anal-probe industry is complete without the kind hand of Electronic Arts.

EA has no interest in sharing private info. They only sell/capitalize on it.

Frustrating (5, Insightful)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434559)

I think the only reason we were able to beat SOPA/PIPA was that there were some big corporations on our side during that fight. Obviously they've now re-written the bill so that all of the big corporations will profit and only the little people will suffer.

I find this really frustrating. We're forced to fund the federal government under threat of violence and they turn around and use the fruits of our labor to make our lives miserable. They can afford to be relentless in their efforts because it costs them nothing. We defeat SOPA/PIPA (using our free time and after tax income), they just turn around and re-introduce even more sinister legislation in its place.

If you have the slightest wish to give government more wealth and more power e.g. to ban guns, to regulate free speech, to provide healthcare or to fix "climate change" you're out of your bloody mind! Washington DC is literally INCAPABLE of passing ANY legislation which benefits the average working American. Their stated intentions are meaningless. The substance of any new law will be to your detriment no matter what. Just say "No" to everything they propose.

Re:Frustrating (1)

davecb (6526) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434673)

The proponents want you to think that: in fact, the non-"anal probe"* companies will object to this variant. Time for another "paint it black" day!

--dave
* Thanks to wierd_w for the term!

Re:Frustrating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43434773)

in fact, the non-"anal probe"* companies will object to this variant.

Your mistake is in thinking that there *are* any of those. Companies exist to profit, as long as "this variant" doesn't expose them to liabilities that potentially could outweigh the benefits, they'll support it... *unless* there is a massive public outcry against it (bad PR). So if they can sneak it by in other ways behind the scenes, and nobody notices... oh well, too bad, so sad, "its law now".

Re:Frustrating (1)

AlamedaStone (114462) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435619)

in fact, the non-"anal probe"* companies will object to this variant.

Your mistake is in thinking that there *are* any of those

It isn't that they don't exist, it's that they aren't large and powerful enough to be heard (since they care more about quality of goods and services than naked profit). Time to activate the phone tree...

Re:Frustrating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43434721)

Obviously they've now re-written the bill so that all of the big corporations will profit and only the little people will suffer.

I haven't read this, and doubt most people here have. Is there something you can point us to that indicates this is true?

I'd just rather not make wild assumptions.

Re:Frustrating (2)

Maltheus (248271) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434879)

As you've noted, saying "no" over and over again isn't enough. There needs to be more structural limitations in place, to confine our government to a small set of permitted functions. We weren't quite explicit enough in 1776.

Re:Frustrating (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435259)

Most people didn't even know why they were opposing SOPA. They heard something about it on Google, or maybe on Wikipedia, and thought it was bad. Based on this some were literally even writing letters to their senators. I can imagine what kinds of insane letters senators get.

Even people who should have known better lacked the knowledge. As an experiment, I asked people, "what provision of SOPA don't you like?" Not very many could answer.

Benjamin Franklin said something like, "It's a democracy, if you can keep it." People who don't even know what they don't like about bills they oppose aren't the kind of people who are going to keep up a persistent protest to get their way. After it's not hip anymore, they'll move on.

Someone else said, "Democracy doesn't guarantee good government, it guarantees the government the people deserve." When the people don't pay attention, that's what they get, corruption. Those few who do pay attention get swept along in the current.

Re:Frustrating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43436163)

Franklin said said republic, not democracy. And we are supposed to be a republic with rule of law protecting the minority from the tryranny of the majority (democracy).

Re:Frustrating (1)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435265)

Totally agree. I would love to see a constitutional amendment that would allow states to unilaterally secede. That issue was decided during the civl war such that secession requires the consent of both the Feds and the seceding state. But that could be rendered moot with a constitutional amendment that would allow unilateral secession.

And if you think about everything good the government does, almost all of that comes from local government -- roads, firetrucks, water and sewer -- that's all local or state. And sure, maybe there are Federal grants for those projects, but the Feds are just being a resource sapping middleman in that situation.

Donor states would especially benefit from secession -- for example, WA state gets about 86% of the Federal Tax money we send in. If we paid those taxes to the state instead, we'd immediately have 14% more money in the budget. Plus, I'm pretty sure Washington State wouldn't be blowing up the middle east, wasting money, and generating a never ending supply of enemies. All that wasted money would be available for ethically defensible projects.

Re:Frustrating (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435505)

Wealth == power.

You see this from the microcosm of the small business (the boss is the boss because he signs the paychecks) to countries (the U.S. holds power over most other countries because it is the wealthiest of all countries). Unfortunately, the only way to decouple these two things is to completely rewrite our social values. And quite frankly, that's not going to happen without a major evolution in human physiology.

The only thing we as poor, common people can do is maybe pool our money together and maybe try to buy the same power as those who are already independently wealthy. Unfortunately, then it comes down to who gets to wield the power, which ultimately comes around full circle becoming the same quandary, just on a smaller scale. But it's easier for individuals to wield their own personal power on a smaller scale than on a large one. And that's why this country was founded as a republic, and why a direct democracy would be a very, very bad idea.

Re:Frustrating (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435923)

You were going pretty good until your logic went out the window.

If you have the slightest wish to give government more wealth and more power e.g. to ban guns, to regulate free speech, to provide healthcare or to fix "climate change" you're out of your bloody mind! Washington DC is literally INCAPABLE of passing ANY legislation which benefits the average working American. Their stated intentions are meaningless.

So we should stop the government from doing anything "good," like limiting guns and providing health care, because they do some things that are "bad?" Those are the things that I WANT the government to be doing with my money.

Re:Frustrating (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436233)

So we should stop the government from doing anything "good," like limiting guns and providing health care, because they do some things that are "bad?"

"Good" and "Bad," especially in the context of government action, is purely subjective, evidenced by the sentence I qouted.

FWIW, not everyone thinks limiting guns and providing health care is a good thing for the government to do.

Re:Frustrating (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43436247)

How would you have any right to privacy if the government didn't police corporations?

Do we need anything more than this? (0, Offtopic)

davecb (6526) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434709)

[In part from a reply to http://www.slaw.ca/2013/04/04/access-to-server-data-for-foreign-criminal-investigative-purposes/ [www.slaw.ca] at Slaw]

The U.S. requests under our Mutual Law Assistance Treaties for private information re Megaupload parallels the CISPA proposals, and both strike me as wrong-headed (;-)) It is arguably valid for such a process to be followed in cases of copyright infringement, and can be critiqued on the basis of whether it is necessary and sufficient.

However, it suggest that at least the U.S. government is trying to deal with a minor crime, copyright infringement, because they don't know how to deal with major ongoing ones, commercial espionage.

Real "computer crime"is centred around breaking in to people's machines to steal data or crash them to deny the data to its owners. This is done via viruses, root-kits and the like, communicating across the internet to "bot-nets", collections of machines used as accomplices and cut-outs. These in turn are run by "bot master" machines in the hands of the criminals.

To investigate a key-logger (snooping) virus running on the machine of your chief counsel, you need to trace the connections across the internet from the infected machine to the "bot" and thence to the master. This requires cooperation of the police in the jurisdictions where the machines are and the ISPs they are connected to, to trace the connections between machines. To the best of my knowledge, that is barely in discussion at ICANN, and is nowhere part of the law or practice.

Only once that is done does one need to identify persons, and only one person, the criminal operating the master, and seize the machine for evidence, possibly in a foreign country.

All the other human beings in the story are victims, whom we do not need to identify, but merely transmit a warning to via their ISP. Once we have seized the master machine, we know the IP addresses (and ISPs) of the people who are being attacked, and the IP addresses of the people whose machines have been taken over by viruses to become the bot-net. Without breaching confidentiality, an ISP can forward a message that they are infected by a criminal's virus, and in extreme cases require the machine to be cleaned of infectious before being allowed to connect to the ISPs other customers.

I'm just a bit horrified at our American cousins: right now, people are stealing corporate information, collecting credit-card numbers and sabotaging centrifuges using techniques that neither the police, legislators nor courts are paying any attention to. Instead they are prosecuting a drop-box operator for a misdemeanor.

They remind me of the story of the drunk looking for his car-keys under the street-light, instead of in the dark garage where he dropped them.

–dave

Where's Vint? (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#43434805)

I got some good calls-to-action from Vint Cerf (Google's Internet Evangelist) on SOPA and PIPA, and a free and open Internet in general, but haven't heard anything from him on CISPA since last year [gamepolitics.com] . I wonder if he's still on payroll.

Have any of you even read the text of the bill? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43434807)

It really seems to me that most of the commenters have no idea what the bill even states. It's like reading the posts of a bunch of fundamental right wing conservatives. A whole bunch of statements which have little to no basis in reality.

Seriously, what power do you think this bill gives the government? If it's the "They can read all my email whenever they want now and are going to see all my HORRIABLE SPAM PORN / Anti-Governemt rantings" power you would be oh so very very wrong.

Sec 1104 (b) (3) (A) shall only be shared in accordance with any restrictions placed on the sharing of such information by the protected entity or self-protected entity authorizing such sharing, including appropriate anonymization or minimization of such information;

Can you people read? Read that. Know what that says? It says that all information shared with the government must be cleaned to not include information on U.S. Persons. Basically if they DO for some reason send your email they have to remove everything that could possibly identify you.

To:immahurpdedur@gmail.com
From:icanhazabrainplox@hotmail.com
Dear Frank,

Don't you just hate Obama?

-
John

Becomes

To:------------------
From:--------------

Dear -------,

Don't you just hate Obama?

-
------------------

OH NOOOO They are gonna catch me now for sure! But in reality they likely can't even send that.

Re:Have any of you even read the text of the bill? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435115)

Sec 1104 (b) (3) (A) shall only be shared in accordance with any restrictions placed on the sharing of such information by the protected entity or self-protected entity authorizing such sharing, including appropriate anonymization or minimization of such information;

Know what that says?

It says whatever government lawyers say it means, assuming you ever get standing to sue the government.

Re:Have any of you even read the text of the bill? (2)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435515)

It says whatever government lawyers say it means

Exactly. A perfect example is the recently released white paper on drones in which "imminent" is redefined. The White House defines imminent to mean:

First, the condition that an operational leader present an "imminent" threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons will take place in the immediate future.

Merriam Webster in contrast, defines imminent as:

ready to take place; especially : hanging threateningly over one's head <was in imminent danger of being run over>

Obviously laws are just about placating people into believing they have certain rights. That this is true should be apparent in that we have a discussion going on right now regarding whether killing people by drone strike far from any battlefield is acceptable under the constitutional provision that "no person shall deprived of life ... without due process of law." The constitution is supposed to be the highest law, but obviously, it means jack. Its sole purpose is to placate people into thinking the Feds will exercise restraint. However, anyone who expects the Feds to protect human rights or abide by its own laws, is engaging in willful self-delusion or is irreparably stupid.

Apparently I've read it better than you have (4, Interesting)

Hizonner (38491) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435153)

It says they CAN clean it if they WANT to... to whatever degree the sharing entity considers to be "appropriate". So if some "protected entity" or "self-protected entity" hands something over, it can restrict downstream sharing. It can require whatever anonymization it wants, including no anonymization if it decides that no anonymization at all is "appropriate".

Who's a "protected entity"? Hint: not you. "an entity, other than an individual, that contracts with a cybersecurity provider for goods or services to be used for cybersecurity purposes.".

Excuse me if I don't believe that every "protected entity" or "self-protected entity" has my best interests at heart.

4th Amendment disappears (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43434827)

If CISPA passes there will be no such thing as a 4th Amendment right protecting you against unreasonable search and seizure. You see, while the government has to obey the constitution, corporations are bound by no such guarantees--and CISPA makes the data-sharing (data which is already required by the government to be stored for several years for "law enforcement purposes") already commonplace explicitly legal.

What are the alternatives (2)

future assassin (639396) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435247)

and how do you get people to change from Google to something else? I can do it as I know whats at stake as a tech/nerd/whatever but how do I convince others to not use those services. Even now I'm still debating on what I should do as a business owner when it comes to dropping my site from Google local and search. I've take the stand not to involve social sites with my retail store website and at least there are alternatives to Youtube when I start producing product video but there are now easy alternatives to search.

Still Bad (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435493)

CISPA in it's original form was astoundingly horrific. This is merely horrible. The part that I despise is the retention of the information to use in other criminal cases such as child pornography or in cases of national security.

This and the liability provisions are over the top,

And not a single definition of CISPA (2)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year and a half ago | (#43435685)

Way to go Slashdot "editors". What the hell is a CISPA?

Re:And not a single definition of CISPA (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436121)

CISPA = Clinically Insane Senators Proposing Acts

Solution to the whole mess (3, Interesting)

hawkingradiation (1526209) | about a year and a half ago | (#43436409)

1. People are corporations. You now get all the benefit and protection under the law that corporations have. When anybody is born, they are automatically assigned a corporate number or name and they will enjoy all the protections that government and the law have built into corporations. Kill somebody through a leak of deadly chemicals: pay a fine that is a percentage point of your income and walk away. Go bankrupt: just dissolve yourself and start again with a new identity or name. Want a favourable court ruling: just argue about how you, as a corporation would have lost money. Get sued: store all your money in a holding company that you own and don't pay a cent. And if you get big enough: get your own crack legal team, harass Senators and Congressmen, lobby the government, get access to others data. All you have to do is promise to store your email for long enough enough. Heck you don't have to follow any particular country's rules. Just sign a "free trade" agreement with other nations and then you can sue them. Yep, life as a corporation would be great.
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