Yesterday evening, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ignored overwhelming public outcry against the government’s out of control spying programs and poor digital security and moved to advance debate on CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.
CISA is a surveillance bill masquerading as a "cybersecurity" bill. The world’s cybersecurity experts agree that CISA fails to even address the problem it claims to solve. It would do nothing to prevent high profile cyber attacks like the OPM hacks. In fact, by centralizing critical data amongst Federal agencies that have a proven track record of poor digital hygeine, CISA will make the United States even less safe from cyber attacks, while dramatically expanding the government’s unpopular mass surveillance capabilities.
Last week, Fight for the Future and a coalition of more than a dozen advocacy groups launched the campaign Operation: #FaxBigBrother, to give Internet users a voice against CISA. The website FaxBigBrother.com and the hashtag #FaxBigBrother quickly went viral generating more than 6.2 million faxes to Senate offices in a matter of days.
The following statement can be attributed to Fight for the Future campaign director, Evan Greer:
Congress has a penchant for pissing off the Internet, but they’ve really done it this time. Internet users are outraged that Mitch McConnell is rushing the Senate toward a bill that dramatically expands the government’s surveillance powers while making our networks even more vulnerable to the types of cyber attacks the government claims it’s trying to stop.
If we give Congress the benefit of the doubt that they’re pushing this fundamentally flawed bill out of ignorance rather than malice or corruption, their logic in pushing CISA as a solution to high profile cyber breaches like the OPM hacks is something like this: "Darn, we keep getting robbed. Let’s put a surveillance camera in the bathroom and keep leaving the front door unlocked."
The manager’s amendment proposed does nothing to address the fundamentally flawed logic behind CISA. It’s clearly intended to appease privacy concerns with surface level changes while keeping keeping the most egregious parts of CISA intact.
Congress may be stuck in 1984, but Internet users won’t be fooled. There are already more than 6 million faxes on their way to Senate fax machines. Congress should expect the public outcry to grow ten fold if they move to a vote this week without proper debate and discussion about this extremely unpopular legislation.
Fight for the Future plans to escalate its activism against CISA in the coming days and encourages all Senators and Representatives who truly support the Constitution to oppose this dangerous and misguided legislation.
Fight for the Future is a digital rights group best known for organizing massive online protests against SOPA and for net neutrality. They were also behind Reset the Net, the largest online campaign against mass surveillance, which was endorsed by Edward Snowden and thousands of tech companies. Learn more at FightFortheFuture.org or on Twitter at @fightfortheftr