Service providers have broad authority to capture, read, and even disclose information carried on their networks incident to their (sweeping) duties to operate their services and protect their property.
Also: your understanding of warrant requirements under ECPA is skewed; service providers also have broad authority to disclose information to people acting under color of law in the course of criminal investigations. Again: under the restrictive 1986 ECPA (which is not the current law of the land).
Also, you're mistaken about the argument I'm making. I don't think CISPA replaces ECPA.
ECPA says service providers can access data "as may be necessarily incident to the rendition of the service or to the protection of the rights or property of the provider of that service;". This is an narrow exception intended to make it legal for a sysadmin, doing legitimate work, to tail a mail queue or something like that.
CISPA grabs that exception with both hands and does a goatse.cx on it. I think there's a big big difference between allowing providers access to data necessary for providing the service, and eliminating ALL civil and criminal liability for giving your data to, well, just about anyone, for just about any reason.
Again, CISPA is intended to legalize the wholesale sharing of your online activities FROM Google/Facebook/Verizon/etc. TO the MPAA/RIAA/Media Defender/government/etc., based on any tangible connection to the integrity of any online service (spamming? too many comments on HN? That's a-sharin'!) or any sort of copyright/trademark/trade secret infringement claim. That simply isn't legal today.
CISPA has a bunch of clauses saying that it trumps any law to the contrary ("Notwithstanding any other provision of law"), so the ECPA only applies when CISPA doesn't. CISPA even has a redundant clause talking about federal preemption that appears to be there just to emphasize the fact that it was intended to overrule everything else.
Perhaps you would prefer to hear the ACLU's opposition piece: https://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/aclu-opposition-...
They repeat a fair number of the EFF's complaints, including how the law is too broad. I don't think the sky is falling here, but I do think that putting a giant loophole in every single privacy law, however inadequate the current ones may be, is a mistake. If they really want to do something, they ought to update the ECPA. It's rather dated.
One by one, ACLU wants CISPA to:
* Narrowly define the privacy laws it will contravene. In other words, the law should directly reference the ECPA & Communications Act and carefully define the parts of it it overrides. Sure, but this won't fundamentally change the character of the law, because the ECPA doesn't offer strict protections either.
* House domestic cybersecurity efforts in a civilian agency. I'm skeptical of all government cybersecurity efforts and could care less where they're housed. If anything, I might rather have the military leading this, since they actually have operational experience. I don't buy that we need a new "Cyber TSA" to be created.
* Require companies to remove personally identifiable information (PII) from data they share with the government CISPA already suggests anonymization. ACLU would presumably prefer to make anonymization the default. That's fine. But there is no provision requiring scrubbing of PII in ECPA.
* Limit government use of information shared for cybersecurity purposes Who's going to disagree with this? Certainly not me. But: the protection ACLU is asking for does not exist today.
* Create an oversight and accountability structure that includes public and congressional reporting Zzzzzzz.
I'm glad for the reference to the ACLU statement on this bill (I support the ACLU). But again, I think a lot of opposition to CISPA falls into a mold of "if we're going to pass new laws, they should improve privacy from the status quo". And: I like privacy! But "not improving privacy" is just not the same thing as "demolishing privacy" or, as Doctorow thinks, "selling the whole Internet out to the MPAA".
I feel like we're arguing over whether or not to get rid of a few toothless guard dogs. While I can understand the argument that getting rid of toothless guard dogs is a no-op, I'm worried because the current plan does not involve replacing them at all. And there I think we agree: reform is needed.
Regarding your third paragraph, this bill does away with any necessity to be acting under direction of law enforcement or the courts. It further allows sharing of information between private parties, which you do not mention.
The "self-protected entity" definition is the real kicker. Any organization with a computer meets the definition, because every OS these days comes with some sort of security measures and any organization collecting private information is going to at least look at firewall rules or filesystem permissions at some point.