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Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act passed in US Senate

Yesterday, the US Senate passed a bill which would allow government agencies to collect personal data unchecked.

The bill was passed despite the tech industry and privacy advocates' criticism.

Here's how the vote stands: 74 were in support, while 21 were against the legislation. The Guardian (opens in new tab) reported that democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders voted against the bill, while none of the Republican presidential candidates were present to vote, with the exception of Lindsey Graham who voted in favour.

Critics have reacted, including former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who has said the bill is “a vote against the internet”.

“We'll name the names of people who voted in favor afterwards. A vote for #CISA is a vote against the internet,” Snowden tweeted.

CISA stands for Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.

Of course, Snowden is not the only one speaking against CISA. Apple’s been pretty loud, as well as Princeton’s David S Levine.

Cisa would “allow ‘voluntary’ sharing of heretofore private information with the government, allowing secret and ad hoc privacy intrusions in place of meaningful consideration of the privacy concerns of all Americans,” The Guardian cites the professors.

“The Freedom of Information Act would be neutralized, while a cornucopia of federal agencies could have access to the public’s heretofore private-held information with little fear that such sharing would ever be known to those whose information was shared.”

The data in question would come from private industry, which mines everything from credit card statements to prescription drug purchase records to target advertising and tweak product lines. The bill’s proponents said the data would be “anonymized”.

The bill now must be reconciled with companion measures in the House of Representatives before moving to the White House to be signed into law. The Obama administration has endorsed the bill, Business Insider (opens in new tab) reminds.

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.