A GOP Big Brother is Watching You
- GOP fucks over the Bill of Rights - The "small government" GOP controlled Senate just gutted the 4th Amendment to expand the 1984 Police Surveillance Police State.
- Again, I have been a man without a political party since 2003 when Bush and his big government loving warmongers drove me out. So I remain an independent Constitutional Federalist.
(The Guardian) - The Republican controlled US Senate overwhelmingly passed a controversial cybersecurity bill critics say will allow the government to collect sensitive personal data unchecked, over the objections of civil liberties groups and many of the biggest names in the tech sector.
The vote on Tuesday was 74 to 21 in support of the legislation. Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders voted against the bill. None of the Republican presidential candidates (except Lindsey Graham, who voted in favor) were present to cast a vote, including Rand Paul, who has made privacy from surveillance a major plank of his campaign platform.
Ahead of the vote a group of university professors specializing in tech law, many from the Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy, sent an open letter to the Senate, urging them not to pass the bill. The bill, they wrote, would fatally undermine the Freedom of Information Act (Foia).
Led by Princeton’s David S Levine, the group joined a chorus of critics including many of the largest technology companies, notably Apple, and National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden in calling for Cisa to be scrapped.
Snowden, via Twitter, said that “a vote for Cisa is a vote against the internet.”
Cisa would “allow ‘voluntary’ sharing of heretofore private information with the government, allowing secret and ad hoc privacy intrusions in place of meaningful consideration of the privacy concerns of all Americans,” the professors wrote.
“The Freedom of Information Act would be neutralized, while a cornucopia of federal agencies could have access to the public’s heretofore private-held information with little fear that such sharing would ever be known to those whose information was shared.”
Despite protestations that Cisa was not a surveillance bill, co-sponsors Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein discouraged their colleagues from voting for amendments to mitigate what senators called unreasonable invasions of privacy, including one notifying citizens that their data was being examined. Amendments from Ron Wyden, Al Franken, Patrick Leahy, Dean Heller and Chris Coons all failed, though Wyden’s failed by a very narrow vote.
Cisa was negotiated and marked up in secret.Cisa would create a program at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through which corporations could share user data in bulk with several US government agencies. In exchange for participating, the companies would receive complete immunity from Freedom of Information Act requests and regulatory action relating to the data they share. DHS would then share the information throughout the government.
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