It's the dirty deal that lets much of government from the NSA to local police get your private data from your favorite websites and lets them use it without due process.
The government is proposing a massive bribe—they will give corporations immunity for breaking virtually any law if they do so while providing the NSA, DHS, DEA, and local police surveillance access to everyone's data in exchange for getting away with crimes, like fraud, money laundering, or illegal wiretapping.
Specifically it incentivizes companies to automatically and simultaneously transfer your data to the DHS, NSA, FBI, and local police with all of your personally-indentifying information by giving companies legal immunity (notwithstanding any law), and on top of that, you can't use the Freedom of Information Act to find out what has been shared.
The NSA and members of Congress want to pass a "cybersecurity" bill so badly, they’re using the recent hack of the Office of Personnel Management as justification for bringing CISA back up and rushing it through. In reality, the OPM hack just shows that the government has not been a good steward of sensitive data and they need to institute real security measures to fix their problems. The truth is that CISA could not have prevented the OPM hack, and no Senator could explain how it could have. Congress and the NSA are using irrational hysteria to turn the Internet into a place where the government has overly broad, unchecked powers.
Since 2012, online and civil liberties groups and 30,000+ sites have driven more than 2.6 million emails and hundreds of thousands of calls, tweets and more to Congress opposing overly broad cybersecurity legislation. Congress has tried to pass CISA in one form or another 4 times, and they were beat back every time by people like you. It's clear Congress is completely out of touch with modern technology, so this week, as Congress rushes toward a vote on CISA, we are going to send them thousands of faxes, a technology from the 1980s that is hopefully antiquated enough for them to understand.
Sending a fax is super easy — you can use this page to send a fax. Any tweet with the hashtag #faxbigbrother will get turned into a fax to Congress too, so what are you waiting for? Click here to send a fax now!
CISA stands for the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015.
Yep, you’re probably thinking of CISPA, which was already resoundingly rejected in Congress three times after overwhelming public outcry. Here's a good comparison of the various bills at play.
Keeping the government's information secure has come back into vogue because of some high-profile exploitations of bad government and corporate data practices. While companies have been hacked, like Target, the most profound breach we know about was this year's hack of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – this is the agency that holds the records on federal employees' security clearances. That means the most sensitive information about people filling some of the most sensitive positions in the federal government -- along with tens of millions of others -- have been compromised.
Because of all this, Congress believes it must do something — including the wrong thing.
That doesn't mean there isn't work to do. While OPM's hack is still being investigated, this attack and almost every other one we know about points to a much different culprit: incompetence. For instance, using the word "password" as a password.
It allows companies to share your information with the government, grants sweeping immunity for companies that do, and, most revealingly, requires automated sharing with:
If only. But our previous victories before set this cybersecurity charade back miles -- that is, until the government's OPM incompetence made this a front-page issue again. If you want to see the other zombie cybersharing bills shuffling through Congress, read this.
By all accounts, CISA is the biggest bully on the playground, and we must knock it down. That's why we're focusing on it first. Our allies on the Hill have made it clear that the biggest problem is politicians feel the need to do something. And right now that means they're even willing to vote for a bad bill with terrible consequences. They need to hear from you to know this kind of bullshit isn't acceptable.
You'll hear from us again for the next fight. Until then, make sure your Senators, your Representatives and your President know you don't support CISA or government spying, and please share this page to spread the word!