April 3, 2013
We’ve been hearing for a while that when the planned markup occurs next week for CISPA, that the House Intelligence Committee is intending to hold a closed markup, basically hiding the discussion and the possible amendments from the public. There is no good reason for this. The Intelligence Committee will claim, of course, that it needs to do this so that confidential information can be discussed in debating the markup, but that’s hogwash. There are numerous concerns with the bill that can and should be addressed publicly. If there are key concerns about classified info getting out, that’s easy enough to avoid, since so much that CISPA touches on has nothing to do with classified info — and whatever comes up can be dealt with appropriately.
The truth is that this is yet another way to try to hide from the public on this issue. Congress doesn’t want an open discussion on the many problems with CISPA, so it does what it does best: try to hide things away and rush them through when (hopefully) not enough people are looking. It makes you wonder just what CISPA’s supporters are so worried about. Congress is supposed to work for the public, not hide things away from the public. This isn’t a situation where they’re discussing classified info or plans — but merely a bill focused on information sharing between the government and private companies. Any markup on CISPA needs to be public.