Thursday, February 14, 2013

CISPA Proves Guns Never Will Be The Answer

PNR points to a story about an Amish farmer who was arrested by a SWAT team of federal agents because he dared sell raw milk. I must confess that I had no idea consuming raw milk was a crime nor do I know if I am a wanted criminal because I consumed thousands of gallons of raw milk from 1957 until 1975. I may have even delivered some raw cream for my mother who sold the dangerous product for the obscene sum of 50 cents a quart. I feel pretty healthy for a 55 year old. At any rate, I hope the statute of limitations has lapsed.

PNR uses the story not to extol the virtues of raw milk but to illustrate the need for the 2nd Amendment. According to PNR, the incident illustrates that citizens need guns to defend themselves from overzealous government officials.

Let's begin with some basics. the government doesn't need a SWAT team to take down Amish farmers. Armed citizens who shoot at federal agents will not fare well. I hope both statements are uncontroversial

More importantly, no gun will defend a citizen from agents acting under the ridiculously broad guidelines of CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing And Protection Act. When CISPA first came on the scene last year, Lifehacker reported:
Essentially, CISPA makes it possible for private companies to share potential cyber threat information with the government if the government concludes it needs it for cyber security information (and vice versa) immediately, without a complicated process.
That "complicated process" involves a minor thing called a warrant, something the SWAT team had, although the "no knock" component of the warrant in the Amish farmer incident is ludicrious. Lifehacker continues:
The privacy implications of the broadly defined "cybersecurity threat" is the cause for concern among CISPA's opposition. It's feared the information gathered would be released too easily and would violate the Fourth Amendment because it offers a simple, warrantless means to acquire personal data.
Several other advocacy groups echo this sentiment, including the American Library Association, which has this to say:
The ALA is concerned that all private electronic communications could be obtained by the government and used for many purposes–and not just for cybersecurity activities. H.R.3523 would permit, and sometimes even require, Internet service providers and other entities to monitor all electronic communications and share personal information with the government without effective oversight by claiming the sharing is for "cybersecurity purposes."
Today Computerworld reports that the legislation which was stopped last year has been re-introduced and reminds readers that the law protects both the government and Internet giants like Facebook:
CISPA also overrides existing privacy law and would grant broad immunities against lawsuits and liabilities to participating companies, EFF policy analyst Mark Jaycox wrote in a blog post Wednesday.

Importantly, there are few transparency provisions in the legislation, Jaycox wrote. Information collected by private companies and provided to the government would be exempt from Freedom of Information Act requests, he noted. There is also nothing in the bill that would require companies to inform users if their information is shared with the government, he said.
There are 310 million guns in the US. There's not a single one of them that will protect anyone from governmental overreach like CISPA. Of course the 2nd Amendment only crowd will continue to ignore encroachments on the 4th Amendment so they can protect themselves from roaming Latino gangs, an assertion that causes one to wonder if Wayne Lapierre could pass a background check.

1 comment:

caheidelberger said...

Readers, complete this sentence: The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a CISPA is a good guy with a(n) _________.