On December 18th, Congress approved the year-end budget bill, which President Obama later signed into law.
However, that was not all they passed. Congress also attached the controversial CISA bill, hidden within these very same budget proposals. Through misdirection, they were able to enact cybersecurity measures that infringe upon the privacy of American citizens.
What CISA Means For You
In a nutshell, CISA gives organizations like the NSA and FBI free reign on your information, whether it is your texts or your e-mails. Tech companies will be required to place backdoors that allow government agencies to grab users’ data, almost at will.
This back door is not subject to most of the privacy laws that are supposed to protect us. Our anonymity is gone.
This is a huge step back for individual privacy in the United States.
However, That is Not the Worst Part.
This bill is just wrong, and that is why it was so controversial. Everyone from civil liberties groups to tech giants, like Apple and Reddit, were in firm opposition to it passing. Even the NSA themselves expressed their doubts about how effective this widespread surveillance would be in protecting American citizens.
Rather than taking the proper channels and debating or altering the bill, our government officials pulled a fast one. They slipped it into a bigger bill; one considered a “must pass.”
If this omnibus bill, which includes over a trillion dollars in government spending, had been voted against by Congress or vetoed by the President, it would’ve had much bigger implications. So instead, of CISA getting the scrutiny it deserves, it became a minor detail in a much larger picture.
Needless to say, this is not how our government is supposed to work.
Why Our Politicians Would Sell Us Out
The night before CISA made it through Congress, many of our representatives were partying it up at an extravagant Christmas party thrown by the US Chamber of Commerce.
Why is this important?
Because the US Chamber of Commerce is the biggest lobbyist group in the country and they were also CISA’s biggest supporters.
They threw a party for our lawmakers, and the next day those same lawmakers passed the same bill their hosts had been pushing. This is either an amazing coincidence or evidence of the huge influence lobbyists hold over our government.
While CISA is dangerous for the average citizen, it helps many of the tech companies it includes, since it makes them less liable for how sensitive information is gathered and shared with the government.
When You cannot Rely on the Law
It is painfully obvious that our government cannot be counted on to protect our privacy – at least for now. That is why you should seek ways to protect yourself, up to and including a VPN service.
It just so happens that we provide a pretty good one here at LiquidVPN.