December 19, 2015

Congress just made it muchj easier for government to spy on you

Congress on Friday adopted a $1.15 trillion spending package that included a controversial cybersecurity measure that only passed because it was slipped into the US government's budget legislation.

Ars Technica - House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican of Wisconsin, inserted the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act into the Omnibus Appropriations Bill—which includes some $620 billion in tax breaks for business and low-income wage earners. Ryan's move was a bid to prevent lawmakers from putting a procedural hold on the CISA bill and block it from a vote. Because CISA was tucked into the government's overall spending package on Wednesday, it had to pass or the government likely would have had to cease operating next week.

The CISA part of the spending package gives corporate America legal immunity when sharing consumers' private data about hacks and digital breaches with the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS can then funnel that information to other agencies, including the NSA and FBI, which can use that information for surveillance purposes.

The Obama administration said he would sign the spending bill. The CISA language lines up with the president's priorities, which include a mandate that private companies take "reasonable efforts" to remove personal information unrelated to a cyber threat.

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