Zombie CISPA bill pushes forward with NSA support

Senators agree to draft a bill, after Keith Alexander says government agency needs the legislation

Published October 21, 2013 7:20PM (EDT)

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) has twice died in Congress, following objections from privacy advocates. Like a resilient zombie, it has risen once again and a new version of the bill -- which passed the House in the summer -- is getting support from some Senators, bolstered by NSA officials.

The bill, ostensibly aimed at protecting U.S. commerce from cyberattacks, enables companies and goverment agencies giving to share more cyber information, including the content and personal information attached to emails.

As Mother Jones reported Monday, "NSA director Keith Alexander is publicly asking for the legislation to be re-introduced, and two senators confirmed that they are drafting a new Senate version."

Senate Intelligence Committee chair and NSA mass surveillance apologist Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is pairing with Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., to put forward a senate version of CISPA, much to the continued concern of privacy advocates.

Via Mother Jones:

Privacy advocates aren't happy to see that the "zombie bill" is returning -- it's been killed and resurrected twice since it was originally introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., in 2011. "This summer has confirmed that any information that goes into the NSA will be shrouded by secrecy and there will be no oversight," says Michelle Richardson, a legislative counsel with the ACLU. "Since this is a domestic issue, the NSA is more likely to get involved...and companies haven't provided concrete examples that they even need this legislation, especially when it's this broad."

By Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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Cispa Dianne Feinstein Nsa Privacy R-ga. Saxby Chambliss Senate Surveillance