back to article America's cyber-security proto-laws branded 'surveillance in disguise'

The US House of Representatives has passed not one but two computer security bills that allow companies and Uncle Sam to share information about citizens, cyber-attacks and software vulnerabilities – and removes any legal liabilities for firms doing so. The Protecting Cyber Networks Act [PDF] (PCNA), which passed by 307 votes …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too stupid to know any better

    The populace is such a waste...

    1. Swarthy

      Re: Too stupid to know any better

      As if the populous has a choice in this. We are being serviced by our government, much like the cow is serviced by the bull.

      ..But at least we don't have CCTVs everywhere.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Too stupid to know any better

        ..But at least we don't have CCTVs everywhere.

        But they are slowly becoming omnipresent. Inside and outside of stores, residences, busy corners, office buildings (inside and out)... Hmm.. maybe they are everywhere and we've been conditioned to not seeing them.

        1. Swarthy

          Re: Too stupid to know any better

          Valid point. I think they stenciled 'FNORD' on the sides of them....

  2. elDog

    Anonymous as in "Here's your ID, comrade"

    I wouldn't trust anybody, least of all a government run by corporatists, to have any interest in actually letting the plebes be really anonymous.

    I also don't trust that the so-called anonymizing algorithms (damn, that's hard to type) work at all. Perhaps if all your demographic info was passed through the well-known NSA elliptical-curve encryption technique...

    They've already proven that just a few random bits of non-specific information about you are enough to identify you in 95% of the cases. If those other poor 5% get shuttled off to some black hole, oh well - that's the price for true democracy.

  3. Teiwaz Silver badge

    What this is really about...

    > "companies will be expected to anonymize the intelligence before sharing it, and a federal body will check that personally identifying information has been stripped out before releasing the information to government bodies"

    I think they REALLY just want to collect a lot of saucy selfies.

    How do they anonymize those? One of those tawdry black bars...

  4. Marcel

    So, how exactly will this information sharing make us (or them, I'm not American) any safer?

    I imagine this information sharing to be something like this:

    "Hey FBI, I found this critical zero day and I think you might can use it to spy on bad guys. xxx, NSA"

    "Hey Microsoft, can you please not yet patch this critical Windows vulnerability, because we're using it to hack terrorist right now. Regards CIA"

    "Hey Whitehouse. Seems like we're being hacked by some kid in Russia and we have no clue how to stop him. Seems like we're screwed badly. Are you hacked too? Better have your spokesperson call it a cyberattack by a nation state, so at least we don't look stupid. Regards, Sony"

    "Hey Apple, we can't really crack you iPhone security. Can you please build in a backdoor for us. Thanks, NSA"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I take it the "please" parts are a piss-take. As if there was any doubt of co-operation?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Land of the Free...

    ... For Gubberment & Big Biz.

    Shame they forgot about The People.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spirit of Blair

    The way they've set those bills up, they could have been drafted by Blair's Labour; more full of gaping holes than the proverbial cheese.

  7. Alistair Silver badge

    Operational observation as a form of intelligence gathering

    Okay -- Y'all wanna share all sorts o data.

    Well, Y'all are gonna have ta 'nonymize that data first.

    Once y'all are done 'nonymizin' that data, just put it here and we'll make sure ... (for a 'nominal' fee of course, but we'll just charge the taxpayers that fee so that your data trading will make everyone else some money)

    Somehow I just *don't* see the government sending the data *back* to have the stripping done again. I see it vanishing into some large data store somewhere. But then I'm a screaming cynic these days.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Operational observation as a form of intelligence gathering

      Anonymization has no useful effect anyway, as the reams of research on de-anonymization over the past few years show. And often the de-anonymizers don't even care whether they eventually connect a target to PII as traditionally defined; they can create reliable identifiers of their own for individuals and use those for their purposes.

      Anonymization is dead. It's a sop to privacy advocates who still labor under the misapprehension it means something.

  8. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Sounds like...

    ...even more reason for no one to ever let a US company get their hands on your data.

    Safe Harbour? Yeah, we've heard of that.

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