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Jul 12

Diane Feinstein responds to CISPA

I wrote to California Senator Diane Feinstein in opposition to CISPA, and this is what she wrote back. Not only does she ignore that I am completely opposed to it, but she’s proud of having sponsored and co-written the Senate iteration of it. Despite the liberals’ outrage against SOPA/PIPA/CISPA, they will continue to re-elect her. What a joke.

Dear Mr. Mehta:

Thank you for your letter about the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act” (H.R. 3523). I appreciate your taking the time to write and welcome the opportunity to respond.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act passed the House of Representatives on April 29, 2012. The bill would, among other things, establish procedures to allow the Intelligence Community to share cyber threat intelligence with the private sector. On May 7, 2012, the bill was referred to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which I chair.

I agree with the authors of the House bill that our nation faces a serious and growing threat from cyber attack and espionage—threats to both our national security and our economy. Effective cybersecurity requires that the information on cyber threats and defenses in our government’s hands be passed to the private sector, and that information from industry be shared with the government.

That is why I authored the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2012 (S. 2102). That legislation—which became Title VII in the comprehensive Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 2105) co-sponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)—authorizes companies to monitor and defend their own networks. It establishes procedures for private sector companies to share cyber threat information with each other and with the federal government, and establishes procedures for the government to share classified cybersecurity threat information with certified private sector entities.

Importantly, however, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 includes substantially more robust privacy protections, as well as better safeguards against the private sector abusing new information sharing authorities, than the bill the House passed.

In particular, our legislation narrowly defines cybersecurity information that can be shared; places limits on how that information can be used by the government; requires that government bodies for collecting and sharing information be civilian institutions; and prevents any information to be shared or government action to be taken based on activities that are protected under the Constitution. I have worked closely with privacy and civil liberty organizations to draft the legislation, and have continued to make changes to the bill to ensure proper protections are in place.

Like you, I recognize that cybersecurity is a very serious issue. We must ensure our national security, and at the same time, protect our civil liberties and our fundamental rights to privacy and free speech. Determining the best way to strike that balance will require careful consideration, and I will certainly keep your views in mind as the debate on this issue advances.

Once again, thank you for your letter. I am pleased that you are engaged in this important issue and hope you continue to inform me of issues that matter to you. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 224-3841, or visit my website.

Sincerely yours,
Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

Jul 09

Of Debt & Freedom

The United States’ debt in 1861 was $90 million. By 1865, it was $2.7 billion, a 3000% increase in 4 years to take away the states’ rights to secede from the union. Similarly, from 1932 to 1945, the US debt went from $19.4 billion to $258 billion, a 1330% increase, in order to “save” the nation from ruin. Both of these moments were followed by periods of massive increases in government spending as well as increased government interference in the lives of the citizenry. The reason? As Hans Sennholz put it, “A government debt is a government claim against personal income and private property – an unpaid tax bill.”

Jul 05

Glad to finally own this. Thanks for the recommendation @kfunkhou  (Taken with Instagram)

Glad to finally own this. Thanks for the recommendation @kfunkhou (Taken with Instagram)

Jun 30

“American businesses had pushed the federal government to place strict regulatory standards on imported food and drug products as a form of veiled protectionism. The result was, as [Gabriel] Kolko noted, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Big businesses also understood that costly federal regulation would disproportionately harm their smaller competitors. Thus while claiming to be “socially responsible” by favoring regulation of their own industries, businesses really supported the creation of monopoly power in their industry.” — Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Hamilton’s Curse

“I encountered hostility especially among those who knew me only at a distance without my knowing them myself. Doubtless they suspected me of living fully and being given up completely to happiness; and that cannot be forgiven. The look of success, when it is worn a certain way, would infuriate a jackass.” — Albert Camus, The Fall

Jun 12

“The [socialist] commandments are two in number – the first, economic; the second, political: thou shalt have no more than the least of thy fellows; and, to cause those who have more than others, to give up what they have for the benefit of others, is the highest virtue.” — Robert Lefevre, This Bread Is Mine

Jun 06

“The state will perceive, first of all, the advantages to be gained from adding to the throng of its appointees, from multiplying the number of jobs at its disposal, from expanding its patronage and electoral influence. It will not realize that, in arrogating to itself to a new function, it has placed upon itself a new, and, indeed, a frightening responsibility. For what must the immediate consequence be? The workers will no longer look upon their common treasury as property to be administered and maintained by themselves, with their own claims on it limited by the extent of its limited resources. Little by little they will become accustomed to considering unemployment benefits, not as something to be provided by the limited funds that they have accumulated by their own foresight, but as debt society owes them. They will never admit that society cannot pay and will never be satisfied with the benefits they receive. The state will constantly be obliged to ask for new additions to the budget. At this point, encountering opposition from the treasury officials, it will find itself in inextricable difficulties. Abuses will increase all the time, and the government will shrink, as it always does, from rectifying them until there comes the day of explosion. But when this happens, the government will discover that it has to reckon with a population that has lost the ability to act for itself, that looks to a cabinet minister or an official for everything, even its livelihood, a population whose thinking has become so warped as to have lost any notion of right, property, liberty, or justice.” —  Frédéric Bastiat, Economic Harmonies, pg. 381 (via luchadoreofliberty)