Bipartisan Senate Committee Secretly Advances Cybersecurity “Surveillance” Bill

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As if the Republican roll over on Obama’s Executive Amnesty wasn’t enough to make you wonder if there really is a two party system in the United States, The Guardian reports that on Thursday afternoon, during a secret session, a bipartisan Senate Committee advanced a cybersecurity bill which, ironically, one Democrat labeled a “surveillance bill”:

“The Senate intelligence committee advanced a priority bill for the National Security Agency on Thursday afternoon, approving long-stalled cybersecurity legislation that civil libertarians consider the latest pathway for surveillance abuse.

“The vote on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, 14 to 1, occurred in a secret session inside the Hart Senate office building. Democrat Ron Wyden was the dissenter, calling the measure “a surveillance bill by another name”.

“Senator Richard Burr, the committee chairman, said the bill would create avenues for private-to-private, private-to-government and government-to-private information sharing.

“The bill’s bipartisan advocates consider it a prophylactic measure against catastrophic data theft, particularly in light of recent large-scale hacking of Sony, Target, Home Depot and other companies.

“Private companies could share customer data “in a voluntary capacity” with the government, Burr said, “so that we bring the full strength of the federal government to identifying and recommending what anybody else in the United States should adopt”.

“The sharing has to be voluntary, not coercive, and it’s got to be protected,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, the committee’s vice-chair, adding that the information would pass through the Department of Homeland Security – and “transferred in real time to other departments where it’s applicable.”

“Feinstein said the bill’s provisions would “only be used for counterterrorism purposes and certain immediate crimes”.

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