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Journal: From Congressman Doc Hastings, RE: CISPA

Journal by Scarred Intellect

Mr. [REDACTED]

Dear [REDACTED]:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns with the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. I appreciate you taking the time to share your views with me.

Protection from constant cyber attacks is critical to our national and economic security. Cyber threats from nations, such as China, as well as individuals and groups are rapidly growing. I believe it is critical that the public and private sectors work together to protect against these unauthorized attacks aimed at stealing personal and government information, while at the same time ensuring that the Constitutional civil liberties and privacy of Americans are protected.

On April 26, 2012, the House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act by a bipartisan vote of 248 to 168. This bill would establish procedures allowing our intelligence community to share cyber threat information with American companies that have been inspected and vetted. I certainly understand your concerns with regard to privacy issues and government accountability and you should know that these are not issues I take lightly. However, I am pleased that because concerns such as yours were raised, the final version of this bill that I supported included several provisions to limit the federal government's power. It is important to emphasize that this bill does not give the federal government the authority to monitor or access private sector networks. The government will not be able to stop access to particular websites, require companies to provide any information, censor or remove content. Additionally, this bill will sunset after five years from the date of enactment. This guarantees Congress will be able to reevaluate, debate potential concerns, address issues, and make any necessary reforms to the law before it's extended.

I believe this bill strikes the proper balance of protecting Americans' constitutional right to privacy and holding the federal government accountable, while allowing U.S. businesses to better protect their networks and private customer information from cyber attacks.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future on matters of importance to you.

Sincerely,

Doc Hastings
Member of Congress

User Journal

Journal: Raising electricity rates by funding the nation's energy research

Journal by Scarred Intellect

Sent to Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, and Doc Hastings.

I received the following letter from Benton REA:

+++++++++++++++++++++++

For more than 70 years electric cooperatives have partnered with the nation's Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs), which includes the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). The purpose of the PMAs is to market the electricity generated at federal dams. The dams and the energy they produce serve millions of Americans from the Deep South to the Pacific Northwest. From the outset, the dams have provided flood control, recreation and electric power, all critical elements necessary to foster economic stability to adjacent communities. As public works projects, the sale of electricity generated at the dams paid for them, without negatively impacting other taxpayers. The electricity from the dams is delivered to end users through their member owned electric cooperatives or municipal utilities.

Electric cooperatives like Benton REA deliver affordable, reliable electric power from the PMAs and help the member/owners solve problems locally. A proposal by U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu will alter the mission of the PMAs, and will threaten Benton REAâ(TM)s ability to continue delivery of affordable, reliable electric power. In March, Sec. Chu served notice that PMAs would serve as laboratories to test various energy initiatives. These energy initiatives will increase the cost and could adversely affect the reliability of power provided by the PMAs.

Electric cooperative members, including members of Benton REA will pay the additional cost of these energy initiatives while consumers elsewhere would receive any benefits. The Board and I, along with many other co-op leaders in our state, don't believe the BPA should be a laboratory for experimental energy initiatives. We do not believe that the mission of the BPA should be changed, especially if there is potential to negatively affect the rates or reliability of the power we purchase from BPA. Please take a few minutes to contact Congressman Doc Hastings, Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator Patty Murray and let your views on Secretary of Energy Steven Chuâ(TM)s proposal be known. We will do our best to protect low cost, reliable, and renewable hydropower for you and other northwest ratepayers. I will keep you informed of any changes as we work to resolve this matter.

Sincerely,

General Manager, Benton REA

+++++++++++++++++++++++

We have laboratories dedicated to research of renewable fuels. I recently toured Pacific Northwest National Laborator's renewable fuels program. There are numerous other Department of Energy labs throughout the country, http://energy.gov/offices.

It is the DOE's responsibility, through their labs, not rural electric cooperatives and associations, to research new energies for the nation. It is fine for rural groups to research on their own, but not to be mandated to do so which would raise local rates. Further, the DOE already has the National Renewable Energy Laboratory dedicated to such things. This is a misuse of a resource that should be left as it is. We've already seen rises in electricity costs due to maintenance issues coming up that were inadequately planned for, we don't need to fund the nation's research as well.

User Journal

Journal: Raising electricity rates to fund the nation's energy research

Journal by Scarred Intellect

Sent to Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, and Doc Hastings.

I received the following letter from Benton REA:

+++++++++++++++++++++++

For more than 70 years electric cooperatives have partnered with the nation's Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs), which includes the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). The purpose of the PMAs is to market the electricity generated at federal dams. The dams and the energy they produce serve millions of Americans from the Deep South to the Pacific Northwest. From the outset, the dams have provided flood control, recreation and electric power, all critical elements necessary to foster economic stability to adjacent communities. As public works projects, the sale of electricity generated at the dams paid for them, without negatively impacting other taxpayers. The electricity from the dams is delivered to end users through their member owned electric cooperatives or municipal utilities.

Electric cooperatives like Benton REA deliver affordable, reliable electric power from the PMAs and help the member/owners solve problems locally. A proposal by U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu will alter the mission of the PMAs, and will threaten Benton REAâ(TM)s ability to continue delivery of affordable, reliable electric power. In March, Sec. Chu served notice that PMAs would serve as laboratories to test various energy initiatives. These energy initiatives will increase the cost and could adversely affect the reliability of power provided by the PMAs.

Electric cooperative members, including members of Benton REA will pay the additional cost of these energy initiatives while consumers elsewhere would receive any benefits. The Board and I, along with many other co-op leaders in our state, don't believe the BPA should be a laboratory for experimental energy initiatives. We do not believe that the mission of the BPA should be changed, especially if there is potential to negatively affect the rates or reliability of the power we purchase from BPA. Please take a few minutes to contact Congressman Doc Hastings, Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator Patty Murray and let your views on Secretary of Energy Steven Chuâ(TM)s proposal be known. We will do our best to protect low cost, reliable, and renewable hydropower for you and other northwest ratepayers. I will keep you informed of any changes as we work to resolve this matter.

Sincerely,

General Manager, Benton REA

+++++++++++++++++++++++

We have laboratories dedicated to research of renewable fuels. I recently toured Pacific Northwest National Laborator's renewable fuels program. There are numerous other Department of Energy labs throughout the country, http://energy.gov/offices.

It is the DOE's responsibility, through their labs, not rural electric cooperatives and associations, to research new energies for the nation. It is fine for rural groups to research on their own, but not to be mandated to do so which would raise local rates. Further, the DOE already has the National Renewable Energy Laboratory dedicated to such things. This is a misuse of a resource that should be left as it is. We've already seen rises in electricity costs due to maintenance issues coming up that were inadequately planned for, we don't need to fund the nation's research as well.

User Journal

Journal: Response from Maria Cantwell; RE: CISPA

Journal by Scarred Intellect

Dear REDACTED,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the cybersecurity legislation. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

Our nation's businesses, critical infrastructure, and communities are all vulnerable to malicious cyber activity on the computer networks that increasingly connect us all. These malicious actions could be taken by individuals acting alone, organized groups of hackers, foreign companies, and even other nation states. The question is not if the nation should prepare itself, but rather how we should prepare ourselves to protect our critical computer systems and related assets. I believe our approach to cyber security needs to be risk-based, cost-effective, and pursued as a partnership between the federal government and the private sector.

There have been several bills introduced this Congress regarding cybersecurity. I would like to describe briefly the two primary Senate bills.

Senator Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT) introduced the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (S. 2105) on February 14, 2012. The proposed legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs where it is currently awaiting further review. If enacted, this proposed legislation would establish a framework where the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) consults with stakeholders to determine systems which computer systems and assets across the various sectors of our economy face the greatest immediate risk. The proposed legislation would establish a procedure for the designation of companies that own and/or operate the covered "critical infrastructure" and would identify existing cybersecurity standards or develop new risk-based cybersecurity performance requirements when necessary; and would implement cyber response and restoration plans. Each covered company develops its own security plans. Each covered company would have the option of self-certifying it meets the requirements or it can have an approved third party certify compliance with the requirements. Companies in substantial compliance with the performance requirements at the time of a cyber-incident would receive protection from any punitive damages associated from the incident. This framework for cybersecurity only applies to computer systems and assets within the sectors of the economy that are not already covered by existing requirements.

Additionally, the Act would make improvement to the cyber security of critical federal information technology systems; streamline cybersecurity efforts at DHS; requires DHS to implement a cybersecurity outreach and awareness program; establish a program to develop and recruit more individuals to work in cybersecurity; require the development of a national cyber security R&D plan and establishment of a basis cybersecurity R&D program at the National Science Foundation; authorize private entities to disclose or receive lawfully obtained cybersecurity threat information to protect an information system; establish a process to designate "cybersecurity exchanges" so that public and private sector organizations can share information; and provide a legal safe harbor for entities engaged in cybersecurity monitoring activities.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) introduced the Strengthening and Enhancing Cybersecurity by Using Research, Education, Information, and Technology (SECURE IT) Act (S. 2151) on March 1, 2012. The proposed legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation where it is awaiting further review. If enacted, this proposed legislation would encourage private sector companies to share cyber threat information with other private sector companies and the federal government, but requires federal contractors to share cyber threat information with the federal government if it provides communications services or cybersecurity services to the federal government and the threat is directly related to those services. The Act also updates the Federal Information Security Management Act, strengthening the Federal Government's capacity to better protect federal civilian networks from cyber vulnerabilities. It increases criminal penalties for cybercrimes and prioritizes existing cybersecurity research.

The United States has always been seen as a leader on Internet issues. Laws we establish in the United States regarding the Internet are likely to be used as models around the world. And because the Internet is global in nature, it is important that we carefully consider how the laws and policies we adopt in this area may be received and translated by other countries. Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind should I have the opportunity to vote on this or similar legislation regarding cybersecurity.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

User Journal

Journal: Letter to WA state senators; RE: CISPA

Journal by Scarred Intellect

In the name of security we have the TSA, I am sure you are familiar with their current situation. Allow me a moment to elaborate: strip-searching old women, patting down an 4 year old girl, targeting female passengers with full-body scans, smuggling...all in the name of fighting terrorism while at the same time providing the largest terrorist threat: insecure security checkpoints. For more details, a quick search on Google will yield sufficient results.

TSA needs to be shut down, they accomplish nothing but necessitating a ridiculously large crowd that is easy for a bomber to target. Since these crowds don't get bombed, there is no significant terrorist threat, and the TSA is useless. But I digress, the TSA is only one way in which the government has been crushing our liberties.

In the name of security we now have the CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act). The goal again being a more secure internet. What we don't need is a more secure internet, the internet is secure enough for those who care enough (encryption via PGP, VPN's, E-mail anonymizers, etc.). What we do need is privacy. This bill threatens privacy too much; it is also too similar in scope to SOPA.

The 4th Amendment to our Constitution, which I am sure you swore an oath to uphold, states that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." CISPA is in direct conflict with our Constitutional rights. The argument could be made that the 4th Amendment doesn't mention the internet because it, and its issues, didn't exist when it was written, but one must take into consideration Original Intent; further, I the phrase "and effects" should adequately account for internet information.

There are better ways that the goals of CISPA can be achieved, and they do not involve disclosure of private data to determine online threats. If you are unaware of these better ways, then you have no reason to be voting on such issues until you become better informed.

One of the goals of CISPA is to assist in reporting/detecting cybersecurity. That is all well and good, and can be done with ONLY IP Addresses and does not need to contain personal information of any sort.

In the name of security we have allowed ourselves to be deluded into abandoning our rights and allowing the government to strip us of our rights and convenience so that we can be safer. Catchall phrases such as "to protect against terrorism," "for the children," and "for national security" have been used all too much to justify blatant abuses of the government's power.

In the name of security our country has maintained the USA PATRIOT act, an act originally intended to be short-lived.

In the name of security we have become absurdly inconvenienced when traveling, had our privacy dissolved, and many basic rights washed away. This needs to end.

In the name of security we have allowed the terrorists to win: we have a government consistently and continually crushing our rights and eroding our freedoms, and this once-great nation is now the laughing stock of the free world because we are a disturbingly pitiful former shadow of ourselves.

As a US Marine Corps infantry machinegunner, voter, and citizen of Washington State and of the United States of America, I strongly urge you to vote against CISPA when the time comes.

User Journal

Journal: To Congressman Doc Hastings; RE CISPA

Journal by Scarred Intellect

In the name of security we have the TSA, I am sure you are familiar with their current situation. Allow me a moment to elaborate: strip-searching old women, patting down an 4 year old girl, targeting female passengers with full-body scans, smuggling...all in the name of fighting terrorism while at the same time providing the largest terrorist threat: insecure security checkpoints. For more details, a quick search on Google will yield sufficient results.

TSA needs to be shut down, they accomplish nothing but necessitating a ridiculously large crowd that is easy for a bomber to target. Since these crowds don't get bombed, there is no significant terrorist threat, and the TSA is useless. But I digress, the TSA is only one way in which the government has been crushing our liberties.

In the name of security we now have the CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act). The goal again being a more secure internet. What we don't need is a more secure internet, the internet is secure enough for those who care enough (PGP, VPN's, E-mail anonymizers, etc.). What we do need is privacy. This bill threatens privacy too much; it is also too similar in scope to SOPA. I sent you a letter about SOPA, and though it wasn't in your consideration, you said you would keep these views in mind "should legislation regarding internet regulation come before the House of Representatives" (Letter to REDACTED, Jan 19, 2012). You also state "It is imperative that we recognize the need to balance the freedom promised by the Internet with the responsibility to protect the rights of consumers and businesses."

The 4th Amendment to our Constitution, which I am sure you swore an oath to uphold, states that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." CISPA is in direct conflict with our Constitutional rights. The argument could be made that the 4th Amendment doesn't mention the internet because it, and its issues, didn't exist when it was written, but one must take into consideration Original Intent; further, I the phrase "and effects" should adequately account for internet information.

You have failed as a representative.

There are better ways that the goals of CISPA can be achieved, and they do not involve disclosure of private data to determine online threats. If you are unaware of these better ways, then you have no reason to be voting on such issues until you become better informed.

One of the goals of CISPA is to assist in reporting/detecting cybersecurity. That is all well and good, and can be done with ONLY IP Addresses and does not need to contain personal information of any sort.

In the name of security we have allowed ourselves to be deluded into abandoning our rights and allowing the government to strip us of our rights and convenience so that we can be safer. Catchall phrases such as "to protect against terrorism," "for the children," and "for national security" have been used all too much to justify blatant abuses of the government's power.

In the name of security our country has maintained the USA PATRIOT act, an act originally intended to be short-lived.

In the name of security we have become absurdly inconvenienced when traveling, had our privacy dissolved, and many basic rights washed away. This needs to end.

In the name of security we have allowed the terrorists to win: we have a government consistently and continually crushing our rights and eroding our freedoms, and this once-great nation is now the laughing stock of the free world because we are a disturbingly pitiful former shadow of ourselves.

As a US Marine Corps infantry machinegunner, I am ashamed of our government.

The one day you'd sell your soul for something, souls are a glut.

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