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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:09 AM

Facebook Lobbies Washington to “Like” Spying on Users


Published on Friday, April 27, 2012 by CorpWatch
Facebook Lobbies Washington to “Like” Spying on Users

by Pratap Chatterjee


Facebook, the social network behemoth that is about to become a multi-billion dollar company, has been lobbying for a proposed new U.S. law called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) that would allow companies to share information with government agencies. Zaid Jilani at the Republic Report has been digging up details on the Washington lobbyists who are helping Facebook.

“Under CISPA, private companies may spy on user communications, whether stored or in transit, and freely pass personal information to the government as long as they claim a vague "cybersecurity" exception,” write Mark M. Jaycox and Lee Tien at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The bill also creates expansive legal immunity that makes companies and the government largely unaccountable to users. Companies ‘acting in good faith’ are also excused from all liability for engaging in potential countermeasures, even if they hurt innocent parties.”

This is not the first time that the U.S. Congress has tried to pass a dubious law on computer security in the name of stopping piracy. Last year, the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act – backed by Hollywood and opposed by Facebook, Google and Wikipedia – was defeated after a huge backlash. Opponents noted that the law – as drafted - would threaten freedom of speech and support Internet censorship.

Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, and Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat from Maryland, are the sponsors of the new bill. Unusually for Washington, the two men work together well, according to the Washington Post. Rogers is a former Federal Bureau of Investigations agent who has been promoting the drone war, notes the Post, and the two men have the backing of people like Michael Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. So it is small wonder that CISPA will help out the intelligence agencies by expanding their powers of surveillance. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/27-3



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