The highly controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which grants companies immunity from privacy laws for sharing customers’ data with the government, was finally passed in the US Senate today in a vote of 74-21.
CISA was the culmination of several different bills toward the same end, many of which were successfully killed by privacy advocates who complained the bills didn’t offer tangible privacy protections from the abuse this sort of wholesale data sharing invites.
The “solution” for Congress this time around was to mock up the bill in secret, and to insist that the data sharing is necessary for national security reasons. Some token promises to protect privacy were offered, but in the end passage was more dependent on pushing it out at a time when Senators were less concerned about privacy than actually fixing the problems with the bill.
CISA was passed in the House back in April, though there are some differences in wording that will have to be resolved between the two before it goes to the president, who has similarly backed the bill.