US Senate Passes CISA, a “Cybersecurity” Bill Critics Say Will Expand Mass Surveillance

The US Senate passed the so-called Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act – or CISA – Tuesday evening by a wide 74-21 margin.

The overwhelming Senate support for the bill gave little indication that concerns from tech companies, information security experts and civil liberties advocates were seriously considered. Shannon Young reports.

The landslide Senate vote in favor of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, came after multiple attempts spanning five years to pass similar legislation under different names. Called CISPA in a former incarnation, the bill also drew on the highly controversial “cyber” legislation before it: SOPA and PIPA.

Some of the tech companies that have raised concerns about CISA include Google, Apple, Microsoft and Oracle. CISA sponsor Senator Richard Burr addressed those companies specifically ahead of Tuesday’s vote, saying “Do not try to stop this legislation and put us in a situation in that we ignore the fact that cyber attacks are going to happen with greater frequency for more individuals, and that the sooner we learn how to defend our systems, the better off personal data is in the United States of America.”

The stated purpose of CISA is to allow companies to share information in real time about perceived hacking threats, but critics of the bill warn it’s a legal framework for mass surveillance in cybersecurity clothing.


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