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April 23, 2012

CISPA: Stop the Cybersecurity-Industrial Complex

Should Congress commission private companies to spy on you?

As John Perry Barlow wrote, “Relying on the government to protect your privacy is like asking a peeping tom to install your window blinds.”

This week the House (our peeping toms) will be considering CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. This is the same bill, HR 3523, we warned you about last week.

There will almost certainly be last-minute changes to the bill, or a cybersecurity bill with a different name or bill number could pass.

We have grave doubts that ANY “cybersecurity” bill is necessary. As the following letter shows, it will likely do more harm than good.

That’s why I sent this letter to Congress using’s Hands off the Internet Campaign, and invite you to join me.

You may borrow from or copy this…

I object to CISPA, the “cybersecurity” bill that will be considered this week. As Anjali Dalal explains, CISPA… (

* Authorizes private companies to share “cyber threat intelligence” with the feds, without defining what that means. If I use a word like “bomb” in an IM, could that be detected and shared with authorities?
* Puts surveillance authority in the hands of private entities, circumventing the protections of the Fourth Amendment.
* Gives private companies legal immunity for snooping on us.
* Places almost no limits on what the feds can do with the personal information it collects.

Moreover, I fail to see why we need any “cybersecurity” bill…

* There is ZERO credible evidence that the nation’s vital infrastructure is vulnerable to cyber attacks (
* It may actually STIFLE cybersecurity innovations as companies spend resources complying with regulations rather than investing in innovative new tools. (

I agree that networks have the right to defend themselves from attacks. But they should ALSO compete with each other to provide the most privacy protections for consumers. Decentralized, diversified cybersecurity systems in a free market is the best way to minimize the damage of any particular attack.

Instead, it appears that too many big firms are only too willing to merge with the Federal Megastate to form a multi-billion dollar “Cybersecurity-Industrial Complex.” (

Make a stand for the Fourth Amendment! Make a stand for free markets!



You can send your letter using’s Educate the Powerful System.

You can also tweet members of Congress. Our allies at the Electronic Frontier Foundation have a tool with which you can find your Representative’s Twitter handle:

We invite you to follow us at!/ddcdispatch and tell us of your anti-CISPA activisim with the hashtags #cispa and #downsizedc

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

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