On the 22nd of October, the Light Brigade showed up at the US Capitol to protest the CISA internet surveillance/data sharing bill. CISA is a bill to allow greatly increased data sharing between US Internet services and the US government plus all kinds of immunity from lawsuits and accountablity for the resulting privacy breaches. It even permits corporations like Google and Facebook to engage in offensive hacking against any preceived threats. The Senate advanced the bill on Oct 22, the House votes Monday on amendments.
No less than the Huffington Post has called CISA “a dirty deal between Google and the NSA.” This is because CISA would give them new authority to monitor users and then to share any perceived threats with the US government. Sharing all the information they already snoop from their users would give them immunity from user lawsuits. This would include email contents, destinations, passwords, the whole works, and would be a way to bypass the growing use of https and other encryption that NSA snoops fear will blind them.
Google and Facebook claim to be opposed to CISA at this point, but the Huffington Post report begs to differ at least in the case of Google. Possibly a dirty deal between the NSA and Google that Google “can’t refuse?” At any rate, some suspect that what is most likely to stop CISA is the Senate calendar-they may simply run out of time due to issues like the debt ceiling and the 2016 appropriations bill. Congress had to pass that one-or yet another continuing resolution-by early December to avoid another “government” shutdown.