Saturday, March 24, 2018

CLOUD Act: "Corruption Leaks On USA Datacenters"

CLOUD Act:  "Corruption Leaks On USA Datacenters" 

This will come back to bite you in the ass, Republiscams

Whenever a group or entity attempts to fly under the radar to enact rules and restrictions that bind others while extracting themselves from legal repercussions, my intuitive hackles go off.  Big time.

What on Earth is this odd piece of legislation doing, and why was it sneaked into the spendy-spendy spending bill with absolutely no citizen input?

That is exactly what happened, though, when Congress hurredly passed legislation that included "DIVISION V -- CLOUD ACT".

It never received a hearing. It was robbed of a stand-alone floor vote because Congressional leadership decided, behind closed doors, to attach this un-vetted, unrelated data bill to the $1.3 trillion government spending bill.

The bill originated with one of the most corrupt of the corrupt politicians, Orrin Hatch.  Orrin is evil and corrupt because all throughout his career, he's done nothing but endorse and ensure the torture of Mother Earth.  Devoid of integrity and selfish beyond belief, he has sought only to protect only his own incumbency, choosing party over Country time and time again.  Along with his comrades from the state operating more criminally-negligent corporations than any other in the US, his "holier than thou" religious nutbags think it is their "right" to rape the world of its beauty, to trash her soil, and to poison her air ... all in the name of Capitalism.

But back to this bill.

See page 2201 of the 2232-page spending bill:

In reading the text of this bill, it becomes obvious pretty quickly that they want us to believe that the point of this law is to "[Clarify] the Legal Use of Overseas Data".  It would be easy enough to fall into this trap ; it seems well-intentioned enough.  

Unfortunately, that is not what it does.  At all.  That is not what they want it to do at all.  They are in full panic mode, attempting to hide and cover up their attacks on environmentally-minded US (or aspiring to be US) citizens, and on the US democratic process itself.  They want this law to obfuscate the definition of what is "legal" where it benefits them in some places (by using the word "Overseas"), and to remove criminal penalties from what would otherwise be US jurisdiction in others (by imposing private-citizen protections on corporate entities).

Corporations and associations should NEVER be granted the protections of private citizens.  Never ever ever ever.  Furthermore, all officials working in the public sector -- especially those with "private citizen business" on the side -- should not be provided protections from their criminal activities (financial fraud, tax evasion, conspiracy to defraud the US of its land trust, etc) or from the penalties of those crimes. 

And yet, that is exactly what they are trying to do here. Notice the interesting word choice of "Overseas"? How ridiculous that is in a world that is already digitally connected!

The obfuscation here is that by convincing people there are unknown and "possibly" malicious actors in a hazy and ill-defined place "Overseas", the private-businesses-minded "Government" should be granted rights that allow it to cover up whatever crimes it deems need covered up, especially those crimes perpetrated by the executive branch of power.

Indeed, the goal of the senators and representatives under Trump's thumb -- as is the goal of most corrupt persons -- is to extract themselves from legal repercussions of their criminal activities.  They are fully aware of, and fearful of being accountable after they've already broken laws or betrayed their ethics.  There's proof out there, somewhere, that they broke the law or violated promises to constituents.  Maybe somebody is blackmailing them.  They know they'll be caught sometime... when they will be caught is the big question.  If they try and hurry up to make it "illegal" to use that data against them, they erroneously reason that they can't be caught or punished. 

The motto of the most corrupt people is that as long as it's not "illegal" it can't be "unethical", right?


Sorry Republiscams; that is not how it works.  Let's interpret a few key pieces of text from this bill to reveal your corruption in those underlying motivations for changing the laws:

Such efforts by the United States Government are being impeded by the inability to access data stored outside the United States that is in the custody, control, or possession of communications-service providers that are subject to jurisdiction of the United States.

can be interpreted to mean:

"Now that the Republicans are in power, it's important that we wipe all evidence of our knowledge of, and cooperation with the Kremlin who helped us rig the election that put Trump in the White House.  We want our "official" guys to see what you have on us and let us decide if it should be legal or not to have that.  We must also be able to buy Get Out Of Jail Free cards for members of our party who have committed financial crimes and/or crimes against the Earth; likewise, we want to get more dirt on our rivals in the Democratic party and use that to distract the public.  We need access to our rivals' private lives where it competes with our interests, and we're going to make this here law make makes you do just that."

Next let's examine the Republican's use of "associations" to bloat their power and to circumvent the laws that are meant to protect individual persons, not corporations.

§ 2523.  ... the term ‘United States person’ means a citizen or national of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, an unincorporated association a substantial number of members of which are citizens of the United States or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or a corporation that is incorporated in the United States. 

Let's break this down.  They are trying to define a "person" as each one of these things :
1) human person born in the US (citizen)
2) human person not born in the US with permanent residence status
3) US association (e.g. National Rifle Association, National Association of Realtors)
4) US corporation

And to then say that each of these "persons" should be granted private-citizen protections!  What a grotesque distortion of the intent of the law.  Indeed, this is not at all what civil liberties are about.

A citizen on her own is inherently less able to defend herself against a corrupt government (and against the corruption of associations and corporations!). Why would the law want to extend protections meant for private citizens' to public corporations and associations? 

There is only one possible answer.  

Proof of corruption will be (or has been) migrated to datacenters in countries with the least amount of regulation.  With this "proof" in their LANs, those countries are ripe for their own potential entanglement of corruption.   As the Republicans' dream is to corrupt the entire world with monstrous dictators like Donald Trump, they hope this CLOUD Act will scare more people than it will empower. 

Just as EVIL COMPANIES operate "shell corporations" out of the Cayman Islands to obfuscate and hide the source and movement of their billionaire private-citizens financial data, so too was this bill written to favor protections of the already-powerful at the expense of the low and humble citizens.

Datacenter admins from Planet Earth, this is your opportunity to choose to do good.  Let this bill come back to bite all of the bad guys in the ass: if you know of useful information on corrupt Earth-raping associations, corporations, or governments, you should absolutely share them outside your LAN.  Let us all make backups, and backups of backups such that there will be no doubt that the voice of the ecologically-minded citizens who are speaking up and out against the rape of Mother Earth... let there be no doubt that their voices will be heard.    


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