2007/04/25

HR 964 - The "We Get To..." Spy Act of 2007

So much for Congress looking out for the interests of the people. The woefully misnamed "Spy Act of 2007" is an enormous load to tripe, designed to allow everyone and their brother to track what you do online. Sure explicit acts of hijack or keystroke logging are prohibited, but this bill is packed with exemptions that give corporations almost unfettered access to your machine.

So who gets to monitor what you do:
  • Telecommunications carriers (e.g., AT&T and your ISP)
  • Cable operators (e.g., Comcast)
  • Hardware providers (e.g., Dell)
  • Software providers (e.g., Microsoft)
  • Information service providers (e.g., Google)
  • Interactive computer service providers (e.g., Apple/Sony/Disney/etc...)
And what do they get to do? Well...
...any monitoring of, or interaction with, a subscriber's Internet or other network connection or service, or a protected computer... to the extent that such monitoring or interaction is for network or computer security purposes, diagnostics, technical support, or repair, or for the detection or prevention of fraudulent activities;
In other words, any monitoring they want as long as they can claim that it's for the purpose of "protecting" your computer or detecting fraud, and that would cover even scummy adware providers. Even
Sony's computer compromising rootkit from 2006 would have been perfectly legal under this law. But here's the real kicker: If you don't like it--if you think perhaps that a company has fraudulently installed spyware for the purpose of compromising your computer or data--then... YOU'RE F*CKED! Because this legislation also does away with stricter state laws and removes your right to sue, vesting that right solely with your state's attorney general.

In short, this legislation in no way protects the consumer. It simply gives legal cover to corporations that want unfettered access to your computer for the purpose of determining if you're stealing their stuff.

14 Comments:

Firewalls! We need firewalls. I'm switching back to Linux - it never crashes and the snoopers don't go there.
Absolutely unbelievable. Does my MAC usage help at all in this regard?
Sounds like something that would have been generated by a GOP-led Congress with the approval of Bush/Cheney... what kind of nonsense is this?

If one party is in control of Congress and the White House, couldn't this kind of thing be used to suppress bloggers with views opposing those of the current administration? Or could this kind of crap be used by the puritan element to find out who is looking at what they deem "dirty pictures"?

This kind of bullshit just makes my skin crawl.
Peacechick... Open source software--really the only way to avoid some of these problems.

Praguetwin... To the extent that spyware and adware purveyors pay less attention to the Mac, yes! But with corporate vendors--Apple, Adobe, Microsoft--not at all. In fact, this will give them the license to make their products completely invasive, and...they will.

Sounds like something that would have been generated by a GOP-led Congress

Snave... Not at all. This measure has broad bi-partisan support. Guess just as many Democrats are getting bucketloads of cash from the parties who would benefit.
Damn, I aget so angry when I read this sort of stuff - though obivosuly no fualt of yours Kvatch ;)
And what's worse? I bet this is just a warm up. One problem, of many with government, and Congress specifically, is that it gets only one view, from lobbyists until the very end of the enactment process.

If this issue gets any traction in the media, the reponse from the government and the companies will be along the lines of "oh, well we'll rethink this (and try to do it more secretively next time).
Dave, Denis... Makes me angry too!

And it's a very short-sighted perspective especially when one considers that it's going to push a huge burden onto the end user. Without the opportunity to hold companies accountable, the only option for keeping one's data and identity secure will be to go with open source software. For example, you can get rid of Microsoft today by going with OpenOffice, a suite that requires no authentication or validation.

In a way, this is the corporations slitting their own throats.
Good-Bye Mr. Wolfowitz

Now that Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have vote 332-251 asking Mr. Wolfowitz to resign, it will be hard for him to stay at his job, so his resignation should be imminent.

In my view giving his girl friend a huge pay raise is favortism and not a crime. But what Mr. Wolfowitz will not be able to get away from is that he is the main architect of Iraq war, he tried to push it on President Bush Sr. but without success. Eight years later a new and inexperienced President Bush became the new tenant in the White House and this time Mr. Wofowitz was able to not only push the Iraq war on him but also leave it in his lap while he himself pursued greener pastures elsewhere.

Media reports suggest that Mr. Wolfowitz carries US & Israeli passports, only history will judge as to whose interests he was serving in pushing this war? One thing is certain that his disastrous policy is responsible for the killing of 3,000 US soldiers and injuring and maiming another 25,000, death of over 100,000 innocent Iraqis and the complete destruction of Iraq.

It remains to be scene if (along with others), history will judge him as a war criminal!
Back in 2005 they discussed this very thing when Congress was trying to decide how to make internet users more safe! They swore that this would never happen.
So I guess I don't own my computer, I'm just leasing it by the good graces of corporate America.
Please tell me this isn't a law yet? Is it a bill to be voted on or has it already passed.

This really, really fucking sucks.

We need a complete overhaul of our government. We can't keep turing out this bullshit corporate bootlicking legislation. It won't end well for U.S Citizens. We'll all be prisoners in our own homes.
Ajaz... Whoa, think I missed a memo. What were we talking about again? ;-)

That said, I'm glad to see Wolfowitz getting handed his hat. Perhaps he could apply to be the 'War Czar'.

Robert... Such are the promises of Congress, eh? And the 'Can Spam Act' was another real winner.
So I guess I don't own my computer, I'm just leasing it...

Lew... That is exactly the model that the software and content giants want to force on you. Hence this new load of cr*p legislation.

PoliShifter... I think you and I are probably in agreement, ban paid lobbying and throw the rascals in jail--the lobbyists, that is!
Absolutely ban paid lobbying! And this stuff really sucks.

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