Senate Overwhelmingly Passes ‘Fundamentally Flawed’ CISA Cybersecurity Sharing Bill, Privacy Experts Fear The Worst
As great as it was to win the battle for net neutrality, it would have also been great to experience the same victory with CISA. Alas, it has not happened, and the reality of it couldn't be more unfortunate, or perhaps discouraging.
CISA stands for "Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act", and its name doesn't leave much to the imagination. It allows corporations to share information with the government that's deemed important to national security, and is designed to prevent the sharing of irrelevant information - or, in better terms, "everything else." It's no secret, though, that the US government hasn't been adverse to intercepting such data anyway in the past.
Flickr: James Manners
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, not surprisingly, is not too pleased. It writes: "The bill is fundamentally flawed due to its broad immunity clauses, vague definitions, and aggressive spying authorities." Vagueness is the biggest issue, and an unsurprising one. When rules are vague, it means they can be "stretched", and adapted as needed, which again, we've seen proof of time and time again. Ultimately, if the government wants information, it pulls out all the stops in its effort to obtain it.
What's rather striking about the passing of CISA in the Senate is the sheer number of people who were for it: 74 to 21. At this point, the bill will slide to the conference committee, and barring issues there, it will be sent to President Obama.
Traditional, effective surveillance means targeting suspects. Not a population. Not a technology. Not a service. The suspect.— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) October 28, 2015
In addition to the EFF, Edward Snowden offers some great feedback on CISA. In a new tweet, he writes, "Traditional, effective surveillance means targeting suspects. Not a population. Not a technology. Not a service. The suspect." He also points us to the official list of those who voted for CISA, in the event someone would like to reach out to their local senator.
At this point, everything points to CISA passing without issue, as President Obama himself doesn't oppose it. It wouldn't be surprising to see some petitions crop up very quickly in order to help highlight the true issues and problems of CISA before the bill is signed into law.