Posted on / by GEO HITS

Facebook, Microsoft and Google just teamed up to fight government snooping

Ever since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the National Security Agency listening in on your phone calls (he’s been in exile ever since), you can’t help but be suspicious whenever the government proposes more snooping privileges. That’s the case right now with a proposal to tap into your online privacy.

The government is going to put a new surveillance proposal in front of the U.S. Senate soon. That act, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), is widely seen as having worthwhile ambitions.

CISA is meant to make it easier for private companies to share potential cyberthreats with the government. That’s a great thing, if the result is that the government tracks down terrorists before they harm or kill people.

However, as with any noble goal that involves the government invading your privacy, people and companies are voicing concerns about privacy. That includes Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others represented by the Computer and Communications Industry Association.

This week, CCIA wrote an open letter to the government, voicing its concerns about your privacy. It also had much good to say about CISA.

First, saying “The bill primarily aims to facilitate the timely sharing of cyber threat indicators between and among the private sector and government, with the goal of improving overall domestic Internet and infrastructure security. The CCIA fully supports that goal.”

 Its concern with CISA is that there aren’t enough safeguards when it comes to privacy. Specifically, as written, CISA would have almost no limits on how the government uses your private information, according to CCIA. “CISA’s prescribed mechanism for sharing of cyber threat information does not sufficiently protect users’ privacy or appropriately limit the permissible uses of information shared with the government.”

While CISA is said to have widespread support among both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, at least a few senators have voiced their concerns. That includes presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

He wrote that CISA will give private companies, “… new spying powers that gut privacy laws and allow Internet providers and websites to hand over personal data to any agency in the federal government.”

What do you think about CISA? Will it be an invasion of your privacy? Let us know in comments.


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