Privacy-Killing Cybersecurity Bill CISA Passes Senate Committee Vote


The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Tuesday approved the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA)  by a vote of 12-3.  The controversial bill is now likely to move on to a full Senate vote.

CISA is a rigorous certification program which allows private firms to access levels of security previously reserved for government intelligence agencies. It sanctions IT policies which delegate high level security credentials to private domains, contributing to an erosion of Internet privacy. It’s intended to increase cybersecurity for firms and deter hacking.

After nationwide protests forced a similar bill called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) to be dropped last year, Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) modified it to the version passed by the Senate Committee this week.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation calls the revived version a “zombie bill” which could give the NSA even more privacy-invading powers. Hackread describes its downside this way:

Critics fear that this bill will create a massive loophole in existing privacy laws by allowing the government to ask companies for “voluntary” cooperation in sharing information, including the content of communications, for cyber security purposes. But the definition lawmakers are using for the so-called “cybersecurity information” is so broad, it could sweep up huge amount of personal data of innocent Americans.

Take action against CISA on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website.