"No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability, or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture." -- U.N. Convention Against Torture
We wanted to wait to deliver this news considering the uncertainly surrounding it, as well as many new things that came to light, but it appears that CISPA has been defeated! (Again again..)
But this actually isn't much cause for celebration, considering the other things that have come to light recently. First and foremost, CISPA appears seemingly unnecessary anyway considering that the U.S. Justice Department further immunized AT&T and others from litigation, similar to the retroactive protections of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 for AT&T'sRoom 641A. From the CNET article:
Because it overrides all federal and state privacy laws, including the Wiretap Act, legislation called CISPA would formally authorize the program without the government resorting to 2511 letters. In other words, if CISPA, which the U.S. House of Representatives approved last week, becomes law, any data-sharing program would be placed on a solid legal footing. AT&T, Verizon, and wireless and cable providers have all written letters endorsing CISPA.
The use of the "2511 letters," as they are called, curtails the need for CISPA. However, the "problems" surrounding 2511 letters -- namely the judicial oversight, requirements of justification, and adherence to the Constitution -- are annoying enough to mandate a law such as CISPA so that those letters do not need to be crafted ever again -- literally NO judicial oversight whatsoever, or even any application of that damn pesky Constitution.
Furthermore, it was announced on April 30th that the Obama administration nominated a former lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries to head the FCC. We do not even need to point out the obscenely obvious conflict of interest. In fact, the only worse conflict of interest we have seen to date is that of SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas (former attorney of Monsanto) refusing to recuse himself from a case against Monsanto. That would be like a rape victim having their rapist as the judge, and now they want to do practically the same thing has enlisting a serial rapist to redefine rape laws.
So yay, woohoo... CISPA is dead.. again.. for now.. again. Not like it is really even needed anyhow. We really should not need to say it, but use TOR, encrypt everything (even locally!), and keep speaking out against these atrocities against privacy and civil rights!