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OPEN Act Next: Dodged SOPA & PIPA, but did we leave ourselves wide OPEN?

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Last Wednesday, January 18th, ironically, the same day as the internet blackout protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and the Protection of Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), California Republican Representative, Darrell Issa quietly  introduced the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) HR.3782 to the house floor.  Senator Ron Wyden, a democrat from Oregon, has already introduced the Act to the US Senate, as well, and you are still probably asking, “What does OPEN really mean?”

OPEN vs SOPA bill

You may not have heard of it yet, but OPEN is actually making an effort to live up to its title. In fact, KeepTheWebOpen is a site set up by Issa that displays the approximately 20 page bill in its entirety on the site’s homepage and asks for comments and suggestions. The site is also complete with video endorsements from Wyden and other congressmen, and has already received the support of tech giants likes Google, Twitter, and Facebook. So, what is the difference between OPEN and the other acts that were so ill-received?

In what some may observe as an overly-simplified chart that compares the three different acts, KeepTheWebOpen.com points out that OPEN will resolve violations of intellectual property rights with the use of IP experts. The chart does not include to what extent US companies will be held liable if they do not remove the content from what has been deemed an infringing site.

However, the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade act (which notably, has an “N” in the acronym, but not in the title when spelled out), is most notably different from the others in that it will directly correspond with the International Trade Commission. If the ITC finds that a foreign registered site violates the intellectual property rights of a US citizen, it will demand the domestic payment processor, like Visa or PayPal, and the site that advertises the site, like Google, to stop. The bill primarily addresses the copyright subject as an issue of import trade, however, still seems very vague in regard to action taken against domestic sites violating copyright law.

Critics say that the bill perhaps, is too open, and in fact, the vague language could leave sites more vulnerable than SOPA and PIPA would have in the long run. One commenter states on InfoWars, “’Reasonable Belief’ and credible evidence’ are too vague and have the appearance of inviting highly subjective interpretation with the option for the commission and/or the provider to exercise sweeping powers of impunity.”

Furthermore, other critics are concerned about the global affects of blocking out foreign sites. Could this be a way to ultimately censor foreign information (i.e. the first step to Chinese internet censorship?).  Will a crack down on these trade laws intensify poor foreign relations with powerful trade countries like China and India?

It seems that if the big internet players, like Google and Wikipedia are comfortable with abiding by direct authority from the ITC, then the bill is perhaps the best answer to SOPA and PIPA. . At least it is “open” and available to the public, right? You decide.

Taylor Hazlehurst is a guest author here covering a wide array of issues.  The content of this article was provided by Cyber Security Degree Programs where issues like PIPA, SOPA and the OPEN act are daily issues for people in cyber security jobs. With the popularity of regulation like SOPA, jobs in the security arena are seeing an upward spike in trends when compared to other potential careers. If you have a passion about Internet issues like SOPA, OPEN or PIPA you should take a close look at Cyber Security Programs to help become part of the industry and steer your Internet’s future in the right direction.

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  1. Stevie

    January 31, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Senator Orrin Hatch is probably the most outspoken advocate of Gov. regulation of the internet. He’s advocated remotely blowing up computers without due process to help people understand how serious IP is. http://www.dethronehatch.com/orrin-hatch-is-no-friend-of-the-internet/
    Hatch earned millions off of SOPA/PIPA http://sopatrack.com/congressperson/H000338-sen-orrin-hatch

    We’ve allowed our politicians to feed off the market, pick winners and losers- and earn money all the while as they play the game

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[Breaking] Donald Trump Said His Admin Will Investigate Google For Treason

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Photo: Gage Skidmore | Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Following the call of Presidential adviser, Peter Thiel, for the National Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to investigate Google’s “treasonous” behavior, President Donald Trump responded with affirmation saying “the Trump Administration will investigate.”

In a tweet today, Trump called Peter Thiel a “great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone,” and said that his administration is ready to investigate the involvement of Google with the Chinese military if Peter Thiel believes so.

Peter Thiel, one of Facebook’s Board Members and a close consultant for President Donald Trump, has called for the FBI and the CIA to launch an investigation against Google after the San Francisco-based tech giant withdrawn from a high-value project with the military.

Google has a “treasonous” relationship with the Chinese military

Trump’s adviser also questions the relationship between Google and the Chinese military, calling it “treasonous,” a new report from Axios last Sunday revealed.

In 2018, Google decided to withdraw from a contract between the tech superpower and the U.S. Department of Defense for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, citing that the projects have certain ethical issues that they cannot be involved in.

Speaking at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. The crowd-packed lecture was entitled “The Star Trek Computer Is Not Enough,” Peter Thiel, who is also a board member on Facebook, wants the FBI and CIA to investigate how Google is used by foreign intelligence. He wants the government agencies to ask the company “how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”

According to Axios’ report, there are no public documents that stipulate any infiltration by foreign intelligence of Google. However, they said that Thiel owns a company called Palantir, which works with the Trump Administration and has access to millions worth of government data, including American private information. Nonetheless, it is still unclear if Thiel’s assertions are motivated by any personal and classified knowledge he drew from his relationship with the White House.

“Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?” Thiel continued.

“Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the U.S. military… because they are making the sort of bad, short-term rationalistic [decision] that if the technology doesn’t go out the front door, it gets stolen out the backdoor anyway?”

Aside from targeting Google’s integrity, some attendees to Sunday’s lecture said that Thiel also attacked Americans saying that they were too fat and addicted to drugs, adding that, “the biggest problem in our society is the problem of political correctness.”

“American exceptionalism has led us to a country that is exceptionally overweight, exceptionally addicted to opioids, exceptionally unaware and exceptionally un-self-reflective,” Thiel said as transcribed by Keith Urban who attended the conference and previously worked for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Other reports said that Thiel also made comments on how American Ivy Leagues and top universities are losing their non-profit status. He also said that any links between Google and China, “need to be asked by the FBI, by the CIA, and I’m not sure quite how to put this; I would like them to be asked in a not excessively gentle manner.”

Trump also calls out double standards in favor of Democrat Congresswomen

Meanwhile, in an unrelated tweet, President Trump questioned the double standards in favor of Democratic congresswomen. He said that these women talk about the most “vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate” but they are given a free pass by the media and the people.

“The Democrat Congresswomen have been spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate, & yet they get a free pass and a big embrace from the Democrat Party. Horrible anti-Israel, anti-USA, pro-terrorist & public shouting of the F…word, among many other terrible things, and the petrified Dems run for the hills. Why isn’t the House voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said? Because they are the Radical Left, and the Democrats are afraid to take them on. Sad!” the President wrote.

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Trump Adviser Peter Thiel Wants FBI And CIA To Investigate Google’s ‘Treasonous’ Behavior

He asked: “How many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”

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Photo: JD Lasica | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Peter Thiel, one of Facebook’s Board Members and a close consultant for President Donald Trump, has called for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency to launch an investigation against Google after the San Francisco-based tech giant withdrawn from a high-value project with the military.

Trump’s adviser also questions the relationship between Google and the Chinese military, calling it “treasonous,” a new report from Axios last Sunday revealed.

In 2018, Google decided to withdraw from a contract between the tech superpower and the U.S. Department of Defense for the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology citing that the projects have certain ethical issues that they cannot be involved in.

Thiel, who is also a board member on Facebook, wants the FBI and CIA to investigate how Google is used by foreign intelligence. He wants the government agencies to ask the company “how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?”

According to Axios’ report, there are no public documents that stipulate any infiltration by foreign intelligence of Google. However, they said that Thiel owns a company called Palantir, which works with the Trump Administration and has access to millions worth of government data, including American private information. Nonetheless, it is still unclear if Thiel’s assertions are motivated by any personal and classified knowledge he drew from his relationship with the White House.

“Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?” Thiel continued.

“Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the U.S. military… because they are making the sort of bad, short-term rationalistic [decision] that if the technology doesn’t go out the front door, it gets stolen out the backdoor anyway?”

Peter Thiel raised the said statements (or rather questions) during his talk at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. The crowd-packed lecture was entitled “The Star Trek Computer Is Not Enough,” according to a schedule posted to the conference website.

If Thiel is indeed referring to Google’s 2018 decision, he is not the first person to question the company regarding its refusal to work with the US military. Earlier this year, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, echoed similar sentiments as that of Thiel but did not specify the term “treason.”

Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee in March, Dunford said, “We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing there is that indirect benefit, and frankly ‘indirect’ may be not a full characterization of the way it really is. It’s more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”

Aside from targeting Google’s integrity, some attendees to Sunday’s lecture said that Thiel also attacked Americans saying that they were too fat and addicted to drugs, adding that, “the biggest problem in our society is the problem of political correctness.”

“American exceptionalism has led us to a country that is exceptionally overweight, exceptionally addicted to opioids, exceptionally unaware and exceptionally un-self-reflective,” Thiel said as transcribed by Keith Urban who attended the conference and previously worked for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Other reports said that Thiel also made comments on how American Ivy Leagues and top universities are losing their non-profit status. He also said that any links between Google and China, “need to be asked by the FBI, by the CIA, and I’m not sure quite how to put this, I would like them to be asked in a not excessively gentle manner.”

When asked for certain clarification, neither Google nor the team of Peter Thiel has responded to Z6Mag’s request for comments yet.

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Homeland Security Hearing On Data Breach: CBP Seem To Not Know What They’re Doing

They’re not even sure when they knew about the incident.

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Photo: CBP Website

The hearing conducted by the Department of Homeland Security this week that centers on the recent data breach that compromised images of American and foreign travelers from airports’ facial recognition system, proved that there are officials in the position who is incompetent regarding data security and technology in general.

A senior Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official proved unable to answer the most rudimentary questions about a recent data breach and instead of sending a capable expert from their office, the CBP sent John Wagner, the deputy executive assistant commissioner of the agency’s Office of Field Operations, who, according to critics, cannot and did not offer any intelligible answer even to the most rudimentary questions about the issue at hand.

According to other reports, Wagner does not know details of the breach, including those that involved their agency. For example, when asked whether the surveillance company at the center of the breach, Perceptics, first reported the incident to CBP, or whether it was the other way around, the senior official was not sure what to say.

Instead, he said: “I believe we asked them about it […] I need to verify this.”

He even admits that he has problems recalling even the most obvious details about the case. “My recollection seems to be that we asked them if any of our data was included in it, and they came back and said yes,” he said.

Interestingly, Perceptics and CBP seem not to have the same memory of what happened. In an interview with the Washington Post, Perceptics said that they discovered the data breach on May 13th and immediately reported the incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation within the next 24 hours after their discovery. However, in a statement that the regulatory agency released last month, CBP said that they were only made aware of the data breach on May 31st.

Furthermore, it is also questioned why the CBP insisted in the statement that it released that none of the images included in the said data breach were found online and could not be traced to anybody when journalist and independent investigators have reported seeing the leaked photos online.

Emma Best, a journalist whose organization, Distributed Denial of Secrets, has cataloged the exposed data and made it available for public review, described the breach as one of the largest known involving a government contractor. It includes, for instance, hundreds of thousands of emails and documents, passwords, schematics, and equipment lists. “It’s virtually all of the company’s data,” she said.

“It spells out how their surveillance systems and services work, giving more than enough detail to reconstruct it. The cache covers border security and surveillance systems, along with systems for government and private facilities including CBP, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Pentagon,” she said.

To make matters worse, Wagner could also not tell Homeland Security whether their agency is monitoring and auditing their government contractors. When asked, he said: “I’m not aware of that. I don’t know.”

Furthermore, even if the notification procedure is an essential process in handling data breach cases, Wagner wasn’t also sure whether or not they should report to Congress what.

“We do report it to Congress if it meets a certain threshold,” he said. But when asked what the threshold was, he replied: “I don’t know offhand.”

“I believe it’s a hundred thousand,” he said. A hundred thousand of what—Files? Gigabytes? Victims?—it’s unclear. “I’ll have to get back to you on that,” he said.

Worse, instead of taking responsibility for the incident, Wagner is pressing the blame to their contractor saying that they were not informed about the data breach “for a significant amount of time” after Perceptics allegedly discovered the compromise.

When asked how long the breach went unreported, he told lawmakers, “I have that answer.” But then he added, “Let me look for that, and I’ll come back to you.” But he never did.

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