WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The digital rights advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) criticized the Obama administration’s sudden policy shift in support of legislation that breaches US citizens’ privacy, the advocacy group said in a press release on Thursday.
In early August, the White House issued a statement encouraging the US Senate to adopt the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). The statement came only days after the Department of Homeland Security issued a letter to senators warning CISA could sweep away important privacy protections.
"The Obama administration's endorsement is a complete reversal from its previous stance on privacy-invasive cybersecurity bills," EFF stated.
In 2012, the White House issued a veto threat to a piece of legislation which contained similar proposals to CISA. At the time, the White House opposed the bill because of the lack of limitations on sharing "personally identifiable information between private entities," and a provision that "inappropriately shields" companies who share their users’ private data.
"The administration should've vetoed the bill," EFF argued.
Under CISA, companies would not have to scrub users’ personal data before sharing it with numerous intelligence and law enforcement agencies, EFF argued.
Much like the legislation Obama threatened to veto, CISA grants legal immunity to companies sharing private information with the government.
According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Senate will likely vote on CISA when it returns to Washington from its recess in early September.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a US-based non-profit group with an activist network focused on defeating legislation it believes will limit privacy, free expression and technology development.
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