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News Link • Surveillance

Bush aide leverages Boston explosion to boost Big Brother

•, By Andrew Leonard
 Exhibit A: In a post published at the Volokh Conspiracy, Stewart Baker, a senior Department of Homeland Security official in the administration of George W. Bush, argues that the Boston Marathon bombings prove that surveillance cameras are awesome and Congress should pass CISPA — the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.
CISPA is designed to create a structure in which private companies can seamlessly share information about their users with the government in cases involving threats to “cybersecurity.” The House of Representatives passed the bill on Thursday, but the Obama administration has threatened to veto it in its current form.

.Baker’s support of CISPA is no surprise. Baker has a long history of supporting strong government surveillance powers at the expense of privacy. As far back as 1994 he was a National Security Agency official defending the notorious Clipper Chip in the pages of Wired magazine. Slagging off the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation is old hat for him. But his simplistic equation of cameras with CISPA does a serious disservice to the ongoing struggle to balance privacy rights versus the needs of law enforcement.

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