Sheldon Whitehouse’s Horrible CFAA Amendment Gets Pulled — But Will Be Back in Conference

As I noted yesterday, Ron Wyden objected to unanimous consent on CISA yesterday because Sheldon Whitehouse’s crappy amendment, which makes the horrible CFAA worse, was going to get a vote. Yesterday, it got amended, but as CDT analyzed, it remains problematic and overbroad.

This afternoon, Whitehouse took to the Senate floor to complain mightily that his amendment had been pulled — presumably it was pulled to get Wyden to withdraw his objections. Whitehouse complained as if this were the first time amendments had not gotten a vote, though that happens all the time with amendments that support civil liberties. He raged about the Masters of the Universe who had pulled his amendment, and suggested a pro-botnet conference had forced the amendment to be pulled, rather than people who have very sound reasons to believe the amendment was badly drafted and dangerously expanded DOJ’s authority.

For all Whitehouse’s complaining, though, it’s likely the amendment is not dead. Tom Carper, who as Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee would almost certainly be included in any conference on the bill, rose just after Whitehouse. He said if the provision ends up in the bill, “we will conference, I’m sure, with the House and we will have an opportunity to revisit this, so I just hope you’ll stay in touch with those of us who might be fortunate enough to be a conferee.”

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

5 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    Maye someone needs to sit Sheldon down and explain that the Constitution and the BIll of Rights are still in force, no matter what his owners have told him.

  2. orionATL says:

    this is good and useful detailed reporting by e.w. it is also distressing, though not surprising, information.

    does anyone rember when sheldon (d-rhode is) replaced lincoln (r-rhode is)?

    and now sheldon is effectively (r-rrrhode is), and lincoln (whom some have said merited the title of dumbest person in the senate, except john mccain) is, in fact, (d-for pres).

    if you’re curious, sheldon is a former rhode island i’d attorney and state attorney general. his senate career provides more evidence that prosecutors

    – should never be allowed, by law, to run for public office or, alternatively,

    – should be required, by law, to wait ten yrs after leaving a prosecutorial office to run for office.

    here is a picture of sheldon (st. paul’s and yale, natch). note the shit-eating grin. based solely on that honest english-irish-welch-scots face, i’d say this guy belongs in georgia, alabama, miss, or louisiana – south of the border for sure:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_Whitehouse

  3. orionATL says:

    o.k., i can only pack so any parenthetical comments in a single comment:

    that senator sheldon whitehouse’s little shit-fit-pitched was immediately followed by condolences and kisses from sen carper demonstrates that the senate ssci cisa bill, alleged to be about computer security is, in fact, primarily a prosecutor/natsec police bill, and that dhs is viwed as a fundamentally prosecutorial agency.

    like shrub said, “the constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper”. nobody practices that belief better than u.s. senators who are former prosecutors.

  4. pdaly says:

    What happened to the video of emptywheel confronting Senator Whitehouse about the closing window to indict Bush?
    .
    It used to be tied to this post: “Emptywheel to Senator Whitehouse: We Only Have 7 Weeks to Indict Bush” Thursday January 22, 2009 10:36 am
    .
    Sen. Whitehouse’s response seemed strange (feigned ignorance?) as if he wasn’t expecting citizens to notice Congress’ stalling tactics on Holder’s nomination and therefore the running out the clock on the statute of limitations to illegal spying by the Bush administration on al Haramain.

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