Today, civil society organizations are today “blogging back” against the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA, S. 754), a cybersurveillance proposal. CISA is expected to be considered by the Senate as soon as this week, so as part of a broader “Week of Action” opposing CISA, groups have taken to their blogs to urge Senators to “vote no” and to urge President Obama to issue a veto threat, as he’s done twice before for the similarly flawed CISPA bills.
CISA is strongly opposed by civil society groups and some of the nation’s leading security experts because, among other concerns, it:
- Allows companies to share unnecessary personal and identifiable information with the government or other private entities;
- Undermines civilian control of domestic cybersecurity by authorizing information to be shared directly with or mandating that it be automatically disseminated to the NSA;
- Fails to establish meaningful use limitations and allows law enforcement to investigate non-cyber related crimes with information it receives;
- Threatens Internet security by authorizing companies to retaliate against perceived cyber threats.
Links to each organization’s blog posts are being hosted at www.StopCyberSpying.com, a platform for groups working to push the Senate to reject CISA and focus on more impactful means to promote digital security and human rights.
The following quote can be attributed to Nathan White, senior legislative manager at Access:
“Big companies are certainly targets of cyber crime, but rather than defend their networks and incorporate strong infosecurity protections, some are looking for a quick fix courtesy of the U.S. government — a dangerous solution that doesn’t solve the problem AND violates users’ rights. The only way we can stop this cyber surveillance bill from passing the Senate is if we get loud now.”
Access’ blogs are here and here.
The following quote can be attributed to Robyn Greene, Policy Counsel at New America’s Open Technology Institute:
“Groups have come together today to blog in opposition to CISA because they care about privacy and cybersecurity, and this bill fails on both fronts. It’s amazing that after so many years and after several failed bills, Congress is still tone-deaf to the privacy concerns that killed CISPA, and that now plague the Senate’s bill. The president has said twice that he won’t sign a bill that doesn’t protect privacy and civil liberties, and ensure civilian control of cybersecurity. Now is a crucial moment for him to stick to his principles, and threaten to veto this bill too.”
New America’s Open Technology Institute’s blog post is available here.
Follows are samples of statements. To see the full list, visitwww.stopcyberspying.com.
“CISA is fundamentally flawed because of its broad immunity clauses for companies, vague definitions, and aggressive spying powers. It’s a surveillance bill in disguise.”
“CISA is more than just a bad solution to a serious problem. It would actually make cybersecurity worse while compromising basic democratic protections for personal privacy. The Senate must reject this surveillance bill.”
— American Civil Liberties Union
“With all of its defects and dangers, it’s no wonder that CISA’s been labelled a “zombie!” Now, it’s time for librarians to rise again, too . . . to the challenge of once more stopping CISA in its tracks. This time around, ALA has partnered with more than a dozen other national groups to do it in a way so old its novel again: sending Senate offices thousands . . . of faxes.”
— American Library Association
“While cybersecurity threats continue to be a significant problem warranting Congressional action, CISA goes well beyond authorizing necessary conduct, to authorizing dangerous conduct, and unnecessarily harming privacy. Its broad use permissions suggest that the legislation is as much about surveillance as it is about cybersecurity. We urge Senators to oppose the bill, support amendments to improve it, and for the President to veto the bill should it come to his desk.”
— Center for Democracy and Technology
“CISA [is] a surveillance and anti-internet freedom bill in disguise. Now more than ever, we don’t need more cyber surveillance.”
“How do you kill a zombie bill like CISA? Grassroots action. That’s why EFF and over a dozen other groups are asking you to join us in a Week of Action to Stop CISA. The Senate is likely to vote on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) in the coming weeks, and only you can help us stop it.”
— Electronic Frontier Foundation
“The National Security Agency is sitting on a new surveillance apparatus, awaiting congressional action to help them begin collecting a massive amount of new data on people in the U.S. that they can view and share without a warrant.”
—Fight for the Future
“So who’s behind the massive push to pass CISA? Insurers, credit-card companies, banks, gas and oil giants, and telecom companies have all lined up behind the bill…. these companies are eager to share more of our personal data with the government so long as they don’t have to worry about violating any privacy safeguards. CISA gives companies exactly what they want: ironclad liability protection to share information about any perceived cyber threats with federal agencies.”
— Free Press
“Initial criticisms of CISA still hold: from its clear inferiority to the status quo and obvious shell for a more expansive surveillance state, to the more mundane morphing of the bill’s language to accommodate the circumvention of due process and the possible unintended consequences of its passage.”
— Niskanen Center
“Whatever the intentions of CISA’s sponsors, the bill could end up facilitating large-scale sharing of sensitive private user information with the government… Congress needs to address these concerns in further hearings and carefully consider them before moving forward on CISA.”
For more statements, visit www.StopCyberSpying.com.
Senior Legislative Manager, Access