Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Zombie Is Back

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If the zombie horror genre teaches us anything, it is never to celebrate too soon. Beware the hubris of a character who walks from the graveyard victorious, failing to anticipate an undead hand pushing up through the soil. And so it was with defeat of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA — a surveillance bill introduced under the pretext of cybersecurity, which died in the Senate in 2012. [..]

Last week the Republican-controlled Senate passed CISA by a vote of 74-21. CISPA had failed in a Democratic Senate. [..]

Like CISPA, CISA claims to protect against cyberattacks by enhancing information sharing between private corporations and federal government agencies. CISA supposedly protects individuals’ privacy more than CISPA would have, because the data sharing goes via the Department of Homeland Security, not directly to the National Security Agency. But it is not remotely clear that DHS will scrub private information before sharing data with other agencies, or even that it would have time to do so — near-real-time sharing with the NSA is written into the legislation. DHS itself admitted that CISA can’t and won’t protect user privacy.