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S. 754 / H.R. 2029

Privacy and Control: CISA

CISA was reintroduced and passed -- secretly buried in a 2000 page budget bill.

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What We Are Up Against

Senators and lobbyist are next door neighbors -- literally. "What's up buddy? How you doing? May I borrow a cup of sugar? And anything I can do for you?"

by Loyal 9 staff

Lobby cc

Photo by Erifnam, via Creative Commons, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Erifnam

"This is what businesses want."

That is the rationale that "constitutionalist" Chris Stewart, a republican rep from Utah, sent back to a Loyal 9 member regarding CISPA. He was defending a bill that would allow law enforcement to access business communications data without a warrant. Perhaps it is what "businesses want" because it also protects them from ANY liability in these biz/govt data exchanges. Regarding decisions on the hen house, Stewart was quoting the fox.

It seemed to me a spectacularly poor defense of a Bill of Rights stab in the back at the time. It still does, of course, but now, after my visit to DC, I see where he is coming from. Where he is coming from is lunch with the neighbors.

Literally -- neighbors. The Senate's Hart Office building here. Lobbyest there. "Hello, neighbor AFL-CIO." Rayburn office building for the house reps here. Exxon AND BP there. There across the mall in that spectacular granite building -- no not another Smithsonian; it's the National Academy of Sciences. That's pretty powerful real estate for a "private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars . . . charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology." Somehow it was both "established by congress" and "private and independent." Hey, the Fed has a sibling.

The set up in Washington is practically "Home Improvement": Tim Allen and neighbor chatting over the fence. But this time with legislators and lobbyest the conversations must be like this. "What's up buddy? How you doing? Anything I can do for you? May I borrow a cup of sugar. Sooooo, we got that vote coming up on CISPA -- think you could slip in a clause that protects us from getting sued? In exchange, we'll give you access to our data. Oh, no, the people won't care. It's only meta-data. Bill of Rights, huh? Oh, don't worry, that's just something I mention in my campaign, but hey, that's a great flag lapel pin."

Well, our elected officials aren't going to listen to us because we are neighbors. They're not going to listen to us because we are friends. They aren't going to listen to us because we have the money to shape the dialogue. They are going to listen to us for one reason. We are the voters. In the end, that is what they care about. Keep fighting. Keep spreading the word.


16 Mar 2014
at 09:26AM

Thanks for sharing this information.

The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.

- Frederic Bastiat

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