Amash and Massie Team Up With Democrats To Repeal Anti-Privacy Legislation
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By: Elias J. Atienza
Libertarian-minded Republican Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) teamed up to introduce a bill to repeal the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, which Amash called the “worst anti-privacy legislation” back in 2015.
The Cybersecurity Act of 2015 has been slammed as a invasion of privacy and condemned by civil liberties groups such as the ACLU, FreedomWorks, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. These groups contend that it would increase government overreach in matters such as privacy.
“This would allow companies to share large amounts of private consumer information with government agencies, including possibly the FBI and NSA. This information can be used for criminal prosecutions unrelated to cybersecurity, including the targeting of whistleblowers under the Espionage Act,” said the ACLU last year to InsideSources.
The Daily Dot broke the legislation down:
“The bill contains a provision requiring companies to strip out customers’ personal information from any data they transmit to DHS, but privacy activists have warned that the precise language—which emphasizes removing information definitively known to be irrelevant to the particular cyber threat—will let Americans’ private details slip through the process. Another privacy provision, which directs DHS to coordinate its own process “scrubbing” personal information, contains a major loophole. It would give any one of the major agencies using the portal, which include the FBI and the NSA, the ability to override the scrubbing process and access the raw data.”
The Senate passed the bill overwhelmingly which was signed into law in December 2015 by President Obama.
Amash’s bill is simple and less than two pages. It reads,”The Cybersecurity Act of 2015 (division N of Public 5 Law 114–113) and the amendments made by such Act 6 are repealed, and the provisions of law amended by such 7 Act are hereby restored as if such Act had not been en- 8 acted into law.”
The three Democratic cosponsors are Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who Amash and Massie are friends with, Zoe Logfren (D-CA), and John Conyer (D-MI). Each of them have teamed up with Amash and Massie on surveillance issues before.