Privaterelay Blog

CISA law another nail in the coffin of US companies storing supposedly 'private' data


Privacy information - PrivateRelay - Posted 29 Oct 2015 9:39 CET

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The US senate has just voted to bring into legislation a new law called CISA. This bill was, in the first instance, supposedly created to give the US government more ability to detect cyber crime and therefore ways to effectively deal with it. Opponents however are attacking the bill as a way for the administration to gain access to private personal data without any kind of warrant.

US citizens buying / using products and services located within the US had until now been protected under the US Freedom of Information Act. The new law will render this almost useless in protecting people’s private date. Requests from federal or state authorities would now need to be immediately processed without any notification to the individual involved.

It should be noted that buyers or users of US company’s products that reside outside the US have never had any data protection. Where a company has its IT services in the US then the authorities have always had the ability to intercept the data at will. This covers email, data held in cloud services and also information held in databases for products bought around the world that are stored in the US.

To their credit organisations like Apple, Wikimedia, Reddit and Dropbox vehemently opposed the bill. The fact that senators have now voted in favour of the bill must be of concern for all Americans.

If you are in the US then there is not much you can do other than by using services stored with personal data protection laws outside the US. This doesn’t much help though with buying products and utilities from companies residing there. Those outside the US that are concerned about these issues should try and use email and data sharing services that are not managed by US companies.

Sources: The Washington Post

 

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