Your Senator probably just did something dumb. Yes, I realize I have to be more specific than that: The Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) yesterday with a 74-21 vote.
As a cybersecurity bill, CISA is a joke: It doesn’t address the security problems that create the conditions for hacks. What it will create a streamlined information pipeline for the NSA.
These are the Senators who voted yes on a surveillance bill in disguise:
CISA coasted through the Senate because fears about hackers are at an all-time high, and it has the word “cybersecurity” in it. You know what many people in Congress are scared of, even more than hackers? Losing political points!
Remember when SOPA and PIPA failed? An online campaign helped make those bills the legislative equivalent of smallpox blankets, and that’s what needs to happen here. CISA opponents like Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) are hoping to drum up grassroots support in a similar way. “Back when we started NSA reform, we only got a handful of votes,” he told me. “Today we got 21, so we are just gonna keep building.”
The bill goes into a committee conference next, which means members of the House and Senate will meet to discuss the final language. The members of that committee haven’t even been named and might not get their assignments for weeks, so we have time. “We’re going to move at a very slow pace,” Bill sponsor Sen. Burr (R-NC) said after the vote.
You can still contact the Senate to urge your state’s senators to vote no the next time the edited bill comes up for vote. Decide the Future has a tool for contacting the appropriate member of Senate.
Photo: Fight the Future.