The NSA is about to get even more information on citizens.
On Thursday the Senate Intelligence Committee held a vote on the latest version of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA. The legislation cleared the intelligence panel last year and then stalled after privacy and civil liberties groups called foul.
“Both CISA and Obama’s proposal have encountered resistance due to fears that the measures would give the government more access to personal data of Americans, which could be collected and analyzed by the NSA and other federal departments,” the National Journal.
The latest version, in fact, permits automatic NSA access in real-time to personal information shared with a governmental entity. It also allows access by intelligence agencies and the military.
“Since the summer of 2013, NSA surveillance activities, such as the telephony metadata bulk collection program and the PRISM program, have raised nationwide alarm. CISA ignores these objections, and requires real time dissemination to military and intelligence agencies, including the NSA,” states a letter sent to Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein, chairmans of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
“Congress should be working to limit the NSA’s overbroad authorities to conduct surveillance, rather than passing a bill that would increase the NSA’s access to personal information and private communications.”
The letter was sent on March 2 and signed by members of civil society organizations and security experts and academics.
The NSA considers the legislation crucial because it allows corporations to violate privy laws and transfer “cyber threat indicators” to the government. “It also ensures that companies that pass on information will be protected against court action — liability limits that disincentivize companies from adequately protecting user privacy,” states a FAQ produced Access, an organization dedicated to global digital freedom.
William Binney, one of the NSA’s best mathematicians and code breakers before he resigned in 2011, believes the ultimate objective at the agency is to create a police state and control the population through massive surveillance. “This is a totalitarian process,” he said in 2013, and it “means we are now in a police state.”
If ultimately enacted, CISA will merge corporations into the national security state and continue the construction of an overwhelming police and surveillance state not seen since the heydays of Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union.