On October 27, the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which passed on a 74-21 bipartisan vote. The bill will allow companies to share information about cybersecurity threats with the government. The CISA act will only allow info to be shared that is considered as cybersecurity threats, however, critics, mostly within the tech area, say that this bill could be used to extend the surveillance capabilities of three-letter government agencies.
The CISA act passed the House of Representatives and the White House backs the bill too, so there is a big chance for it to pass.
Before the CISA bill passed, senators tried to come up with amendments that would offer more privacy protections, however, all these attempts failed. Senators adopted a 10-year sunset clause for the bill though privacy advocates (like Senator Al Franken) hoped the bill would expire in six.
Although the fact that the bill was expected to pass, the CISA act can be considered as a huge setback for tech’s lobbying efforts on surveillance issues. The most recent bill that was passed on surveillance activities was the USA Freedom Act, which was pushed by large technology companies against the US Government to limit the surveillance activities.