We’re at war online. Iran, North Korea, and Russia are the sources of sustained attacks on our government and our economy. They steal from us, they disrupt our operations, and they’re no better than the pirates of old. On the sea, such attacks would eventually mean war, but on the Internet they get a pass.
Individuals do tend to get nabbed after the fact, as they build massive botnets for credit card fraud and Bitcoin mining, but it’s not enough to sit back passively and wait to get attacked before doing anything.
We need to be proactive, and that means putting together all the information we can about attacks past, present, and future. We need to be able to deal with attacks before the spin up fully. We need to pass along warnings before it’s too late. And that means we need legislation to prevent trial lawyers from making a mess of all of this. So that’s why it’s time to pass CISPA.
Inaction isn’t going to fly as an answer here. If we do not find a way to use government in a legitimate role as national security provider, then the Democrats will try again. The last few times they’ve tried, they went with a high-regulatory approach, giving the President ’emergency’ dictatorial powers over private property and internet infrastructure. These bills have gone as far as the Internet Kill Switch plans, letting the President order that American Internet connections to the rest of the world be shut down, and be given power over the private employees who have the ability to do that.
It is important that we can improve this situation, and get us moving in the right direction, with a light touch. A clearing house for voluntary information sharing, aggregating data in industry-standard ways, is about the lightest possible touch we’re going to have here.
Amendments are possible. There are surely ways we can tweak the language of the law to find just the right balance between private ‘privacy’ agreements, and need to address the pressing national security threat. Address those in the Senate.
But nebulous privacy concerns are not an argument in themselves. Improving this bill is something that must be done in a constructive way. In particular, we must dismiss entirely the left-libertarian radicals who keep screaming that this bill has anything to do with copyright or SOPA. The anarchists, freeloaders, Pirate Party types, Anontards, and associated scum want to sink this bill because they oppose greater cybersecurity. The online bomb throwers don’t want us to be better protected.
Let the normal legislative process move forward, amend CISPA into the best practical bill we can make it, and make it into law.