Thursday, April 23, 2015

Congress Moves to Grant Even More Power to the NSA

Activist Post
April 24, 2015

By Carey Wedler

Privacy advocates are urging the House of Representatives and Senate to vote against bills that further increase the government’s widespread surveillance of citizens. The bills, called the “Protecting Cyber Networks Act” (H.R. 1560) and the “Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act” (S. 754) are the latest move by lawmakers to bolster the strength of the domestic spying apparatus.

One of the main objectives of the new laws is to eliminate consequences for companies that share their users’ private information with the government. The bills refer to this as “liability protection.”

Letters written to members of the House and Senate from a coalition of privacy advocates caution lawmakers that the bills
…would significantly increase the National Security Agency’s (NSA) access to personal information, and authorize the federal government to use that information for a myriad of purposes unrelated to cyber security.
This is because a provision of the bill is to “require federal entities to automatically disseminate tothe NSA all cyber threat indicators they receive [from corporations], including personal information about individuals.”

One of the biggest problems with the bill, aside from exempting corporations from accountability and increasing NSA power, is the broad definition of a declared “cybersecurity threat.” As defined by the House version of the bill:
The term ‘cybersecurity threat’ means an action, not protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States, on or through an information system that may result in an unauthorized effort to adversely impact the security, confidentiality, integrity, or availability of an information system or information that is stored on, processed by or transiting an information system.
Read the entire article 

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