"One of the things that civil liberties activists like to lament about is that the general public seems to care more about Google and Facebook using their personal data to target advertising than the government using it to target drone strikes.
The reality is that both types of abuse are dangerous, and they work hand in hand.
It’s hard to find a more perfect example of this collusion than in a bill that’s headed for a vote soon in the U.S. Senate: the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA.
CISA is an out and out surveillance bill masquerading as a cybersecurity bill. It won’t stop hackers. Instead, it essentially legalizes all forms of government and corporate spying.
There’s little hope for ever challenging this system in court because you’ll never know if your private information has been shared under CISA or hoovered up under a related upstream collection. In a particularly stunning display of shadyness, the bill specifically exempts all of this information from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act or any state, local, or tribal law.
The members of Congress who are pushing hardest for the bill, unsurprisingly, have taken more than twice as much money from the defense industry than those who are opposing it. These politicians claim that CISA is intended to beef up U.S. cybersecurity and stop foreign hackers from ruining everything, but, as their funders in the defense industry know well, it will really just give the government more data and create new opportunities for contractors to sell their data analysis services.
The world’s cybersecurity experts say that CISA won’t stop cyber attacks, but it will create a gaping loophole for law enforcement agencies from the NSA right down to your local police department to access people’s private information without a warrant. Systems like this have chilling effects on our willingness to be ourselves and speak openly on the Internet, which threatens our most basic rights."