CISA Is Now The Law: How Congress Quietly Passed The Second Patriot Act

Tyler Durden's picture


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Back in 2014, civil liberties and privacy advocates were up in arms when the government tried to quietly push through the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, a law which would allow federal agencies - including the NSA - to share cybersecurity, and really any information with private corporations "notwithstanding any other provision of law." The most vocal complaint involved CISA’s information-sharing channel, which was ostensibly created for responding quickly to hacks and breaches, and which provided a loophole in privacy laws that enabled intelligence and law enforcement surveillance without a warrant.

Ironically, in its earlier version, CISA had drawn the opposition of tech firms including Apple, Twitter, Reddit, as well as the Business Software Alliance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and many others including countless politicians and, most amusingly, the White House itself.

In April, a coalition of 55 civil liberties groups and security experts signed onto an open letter opposing it. In July, the Department of Homeland Security itself warned that the bill could overwhelm the agency with data of “dubious value” at the same time as it “sweep[s] away privacy protections.” Most notably, the biggest aggregator of online private content, Facebook, vehemently opposed the legislation however a month ago it was "surprisingly" revealed that Zuckerberg had been quietly on the side of the NSA all along as we reported in "Facebook Caught Secretly Lobbying For Privacy-Destroying "Cyber-Security" Bill." 

Even Snowden chimed in:

Following the blitz response, the push to pass CISA was tabled following a White House threat to veto similar legislation. Then, quietly, CISA reemerged after the same White House mysteriously flip-flopped, expressed its support for precisely the same bill in August.

And then the masks fell off, when it became obvious that not only are corporations eager to pass CISA despite their previous outcry, but that they have both the White House and Congress in their pocket.

As Wired reminds us, when the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act by a vote of 74 to 21 in October, privacy advocates were again "aghast" that the key portions of the law were left intact which they said make it more amenable to surveillance than actual security, claiming that Congress has quietly stripped out "even more of its remaining privacy protections."

"They took a bad bill, and they made it worse," says Robyn Greene, policy counsel for the Open Technology Institute.

But while Congress was preparing a second assault on privacy, it needed a Trojan Horse with which to enact the proposed legislation into law without the public having the ability to reject it.

It found just that by attaching it to the Omnibus $1.1 trillion Spending Bill, which passed the House early this morning, passed the Senate moments ago and will be signed into law by the president in the coming hours. 

This is how it happened, again courtesy of Wired:

In a late-night session of Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a new version of the “omnibus” bill, a massive piece of legislation that deals with much of the federal government’s funding. It now includes a version of CISA as well. Lumping CISA in with the omnibus bill further reduces any chance for debate over its surveillance-friendly provisions, or a White House veto. And the latest version actually chips away even further at the remaining personal information protections that privacy advocates had fought for in the version of the bill that passed the Senate.

It gets: it appears that while CISA was on hiatus, US lawmakers - working under the direction of corporations adnt the NSA - were seeking to weaponize the revised legislation, and as Wired says, the latest version of the bill appended to the omnibus legislation seems to exacerbate the problem of personal information protections.

It creates the ability for the president to set up “portals” for agencies like the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, so that companies hand information directly to law enforcement and intelligence agencies instead of to the Department of Homeland Security. And it also changes when information shared for cybersecurity reasons can be used for law enforcement investigations. The earlier bill had only allowed that backchannel use of the data for law enforcement in cases of “imminent threats,” while the new bill requires just a “specific threat,” potentially allowing the search of the data for any specific terms regardless of timeliness.

Some, like Senator Ron Wyden, spoke out out against the changes to the bill in a press statement, writing they’d worsened a bill he already opposed as a surveillance bill in the guise of cybersecurity protections.

Senator Richard Burr, who had introduced the earlier version of bill, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Americans deserve policies that protect both their security and their liberty," he wrote. "This bill fails on both counts."

Why was the CISA included in the omnibus package, which just passed both the House and the Senate? Because any "nay" votes  - or an Obama - would also threaten the entire budget of the federal government. In other words, it was a question of either Americans keeping their privacy or halting the funding of the US government, in effect bankrupting the nation.

And best of all, the rushed bill means there will be no debate.

The bottom line as OTI's Robyn Green said, "They’ve got this bill that’s kicked around for years and had been too controversial to pass, so they’ve seen an opportunity to push it through without debate. And they’re taking that opportunity."

The punchline: "They’re kind of pulling a Patriot Act."

And when Obama signs the $1.1 trillion Spending Bill in a few hours, as he will, it will be official: the second Patriot Act will be the law, and with it what little online privacy US citizens may enjoy, will be gone.


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Arnold's picture

What did you think of Chairman Mao's 5 year austerity plan outlined on the radio last night comrade?

Fuku Ben's picture

If you like your tyranny you can keep your tyranny.

lakecity55's picture

The Zionist Brains behind the homosexual deviate, Bath House, knew they only had to get a guy in Office who would legislate their Agenda if only by EO or Fiat.

Now, you have the right to challenge this Fiat by the Second Amendment.

Sorry, it has come to that.

Fight or die in Slavery.

lakecity55's picture

In interviews, Bath House presents himself as a 'normal liberal guy.'

He has been appointed to Obliterate the US.

Wake up.

McMolotov's picture

This isn't all on Barry, as bad as he is. This is on everyone who voted for it in congress, too. They wanted this, so they voted for it. The system is rotten throughout. Trying to pin it all on one guy who's nothing more than a figurehead misses the much larger point. The people who really pull the strings operate behind the scenes, and we don't even know most of their names.

That said, these geriatric motherfuckers in congress should be dragged out into the street and hung from every lamp post in DC. We could put Christmas lights on them to make it more festive.

A Nanny Moose's picture

This is on everyone who voted


mtl4's picture

Still waiting for the secret gun confiscation law......

TeamDepends's picture

Your wait is over, Kerry signed the UN Small Arms Treaty and there is gun grabbing legislation in the TPP. It is coming soon folks, hope your houses are in order.

McMolotov's picture

Gonna be a lot of dead Fedcoats if they're ever stupid enough to try that shit.

TeamDepends's picture

It won't be Fedcoats, it will be UN blue-helmets and/or Chinese or Russian troops. One purpose of Jade Helm was to preposition weapons for these invading forces. We have been completely sold out by our own government. The good news is that, against all odds, we win.

Took Red Pill's picture

Notice how they always pull this shit at the end of the year. Everyone's busy with the holidays and they quietly sneak this shit through, one step at a time, like boiling frogs. 

The Juggernaut's picture


You bring up a good point about voting.  I think it’s crazy that an individual must surrender their responsibility of their inalienable.  If people don’t vote I think they should still have their voice but it won’t be in DC it be where ever they are.  Lobbyist would have to talk to them directly.


Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Right before Christmas. All the 'good' stuff is passed right before Christmas. It's like a practical joke on the Goyim or something. I think I called this a few months back, but I'm too lazy to search for it. What does it matter anyway?

McCormick No. 9's picture

So they made "legal" what they were doing anyway. It's always funny how the workers of iniquity have to have a legal justification for their evildoing. As if. Who are they trying to fool? Me? You? God? Oh... right. THEMSELVES.

These are pathetic human beings and they deserve our compassion. How unhappy and insane they are.

Automatic Choke's picture

All your ZeroHedge identifications is belong to us.

The Pope's picture

Not even Reggie Love could ever dream of penetrating Barry Buttfuck as much as Barry Buttfuck has allowed to occur while he was 'putting from the rough'.

Stackers's picture

What I would like to know is WHO slipped it into the spending bill. It did not just magically insert itself into the bill. What Senator added it ?

Bring the Gold's picture

I thought I read Paul Ryan at least for his chamber.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Anyone got the roll all by chance?

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) Beam Me Up Scotty Dec 18, 2015 8:06 PM

Republicans want to screw you out of your rights at a much higher rate than Democrats.

Cruz, Rubio, and Paul didn't vote because they stand for nothing.

Bernie voted against it.

Lore's picture

Pardon me if I missed it, but I didn't notice any use of the political term 'Legitimacy' or the phrase "Consent of the Governed."  Would someone please point me in the right direction?

Blankenstein's picture

Dianne Feinstein was the first to introduce it in 2014.

y3maxx's picture

...If Hitlary cant win.....look for Obama to somehow score a third term.

NWO will never allow Trump or Sanders to win.

eforce's picture

They might if they decide to pull the plug or go for WW3.

ultraticum's picture

Can someone tell me exactly how establishment candidate, former lifelong (D) and backer of Hitlery foir NY Senate, The Donald is any different?

 - War?

 - Corporate welfare?

 - The Fed?

 - Debt Slavery?

Please enlighten me.

tenpanhandle's picture

At least he will whisper sweet nothings in our ear while he's fucking us.

Titus's picture



sarc off

JRobby's picture

Federal Reserve Act

December 23, 1913


Internal Revenue Act


One does not work as well without the other.

HardAssets's picture

What's really amazing is that they go through the motions of passing a 'law'. Shows how vermin lawyers are the house slaves for TPTB. Probably think they could write on a piece of paper that they have the right to take all your property and rape your wives & daughters cause " its the law".

We find out if most of the police and military are the errand boys for the grocery clerks (money grubbing acquistors) who have conned the world.

. . . _ _ _ . . .'s picture

The US needs to move towards direct democracy with referendums like they have in Switzerland or in Libya under Gaddafi.

SixIsNinE's picture

exactly - time to renew the NDAA isn't it?  oh, that's for New Year's Eve

Beowulf55's picture

Please supply the location of the prepositioned weapons....I need a couple of FLIR scopes.......

Implied Violins's picture

Careful now, that could be interpreted as an 'imminent threat'.

Seriously, we may have reached a time when many of us will have to 'go dark'. I'm not even joking. If this law can be applied retroactively, a good many of us may soon have company at our doors. I hope we are all prepared for the inevitable, because now I'm certain none of us will be allowed to just let this bullshit pass from the safety of our couches. And I may very well go dark myself soon.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

When are all these fucking assholes going to be shot? I am so goddam fucking done with all this! All I can think about is how the fuck I can go full Galt, shore up and reemerge when they go one step too far and they are finally overrun.

What the fuck is wrong with people? We are light years beyond voting and negotiating. This is WAR for our own survival! The pieces are placed, check mate is near and everyone around me has their head buried buried up their ass, or more appropriately, their personal tracking device.

Time to explore alternatives and face we all must consider going underground. Dark times are coming and the time is running out to prepare.


Ms No's picture

Even Miffed is pissed off, I just knew something was funny in the air today. ( :

boattrash's picture

"Even Miffed is pissed off, I just knew something was funny in the air today. ( :"

Yes she is, and aren't we all?

As I've suggested before, ZHr's should get together at a common meeting place sometime, and have a pow-wow. (assuming we don't get droned, it could be quite beneficial).

Implied Violins's picture

Is there a way like-minded ZHer's can get to know each other, especially those who live close? Maybe the relationship button? Because I'm more than open to meeting people here who live in California (I'm in Sacramento). I think we are at the point now where we will need all the friends we can possibly make. It's time to do this before they ban public congregations, because you KNOW that's coming soon after the next wave of FF's and martial law (which is probably inevitable now).

tenpanhandle's picture

"Even Miffed is pissed off".  Thats nothing new.  She's been miffed ever since I first met her (here on ZH).

boattrash's picture

IV, I agree, this really needs to happen locally and long distance. Hell, I drive 1000+ Mi. round trip to work, I can travel to meet/help/get-to-know like minded souls. I can also provide the lime and shovels for those that don't "make the cut". <s>

chunga's picture

Tyler should open up a chain of Zero Hedge lounges.

Bay of Pigs's picture

I'd be happy to run the Zero Hedge Bar and Grill in Maui....

chunga's picture

I volunteer for the one on TN's Cumberland Plateau!

boattrash's picture

Chunga, Beautiful area, I bet a LOT of those Freedom Flags are flying high and proud in that neighborhood right now. They damn sure are in the AR Ozarks...

chunga's picture

Oh yeah they're everywhere, I got a 3 x 5 hanging on my porch with a Christmas wreath in the middle lit up. The chickens got one above their coop too. We're "out in the county" as they like to say around it's pretty rural, quiet.

Maui sounds's ~25F right now...wood stove going nice inside though.