Thursday, June 11, 2015

The House and Senate Cast Votes on Privacy Rights Today, But What They Voted on Was Quite Different.

The House and Senate both cast votes related to privacy rights today. The good (House) amendment passed, and the bad (Senate) amendment failed.

Which Democrats didn't stand up for your privacy rights today?


In the House, Tom Massie (KY-04) and Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) offered an amendment to the FY 2016 defense appropriations bill to defund two surveillance “backdoors” that currently allow intelligence agencies access to Americans’ private data and correspondence without a warrant:
Under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, Americans' private data and communications – including emails, photos, and text messages – can be collected by intelligence agencies, provided that data or communication at some point crosses the border of the United States. Given the current fluid nature of electronic communications and data storage, in which corporate and private server farms store Americans’ data all over the world, this loophole could allow intelligence agencies access to a vast swath of communications and data without warrant protection. Intelligence officials have confirmed to Congress that law enforcement agencies actively search the content of this intercepted data without probable cause, and have used evidence gathered to assist in criminal prosecutions. Government agencies have also reportedly coerced individuals and organizations to build encryption “backdoors” into products or services for surveillance purposes, despite industry and cryptologist claims that this process is not technologically feasible without putting the data security of every individual using these services at risk. The Massie-Lofgren Amendment would prohibit funding for activities that exploit these “backdoors.”
It passed 255 to 174.

109 Republicans and 146 Democrats voted for it. 134 Republicans and 40 Democrats voted against it.

Here are the 40 Democrats:

Ami Bera (CA-07)
Corrine Brown (FL-05)
Julia Brownley (CA-26)
John Carney (DE-AL)
Andre Carson (IN-07)
Kathy Castor (FL-14)
Jim Cooper (TN-05)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Danny Davis (IL-07)
John Delaney (MD-06)
Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)
Bill Foster (IL-11)
Lois Frankel (FL-22)
John Garamendi (CA-03)
Gwen Graham (FL-02)
Alcee Hastings (FL-20)
Jim Himes (CT-04)
Steve Israel (NY-03)
Eddie B. Johnson (TX-30)
Bill Keating (MA-09)
Joe Kennedy (MA-04)
Jim Langevin (RI-02)
Barbara Lee (CA-13)
Dan Lipinski (IL-03)
Seth Moulton (MA-06)
Patrick Murphy (FL-18)
Bill Pascrell (NJ-09)
Scott Peters (CA-52)
Mike Quigley (IL-05)
Kathleen Rice (NY-04)
Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02)
Adam Schiff (CA-28)
Terri Sewell (AL-07)
Brad Sherman (CA-30)
Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
Jackie Speier (CA-14)
Eric Swalwell (CA-15)
Norma Torres (CA-35)
Pete Visclosky (IN-01)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)

The name that stands out most to me is Barbara Lee. If you live in her district, give her a call.


Richard Burr (R-NC), the chairman of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, offered the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

Here is New America's Open Technology Institute on why CISA is bad for privacy rights:
New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) strongly opposes CISA because it would:     Increase government access to innocent Americans’ personal data;
    Enhance the NSA’s access to Americans’ private information and undermine civilian control of domestic cybersecurity;
    Undermine Americans’ rights to privacy and due process;
    Permit companies to monitor all of Americans’ online communications and activities; and
    Authorize companies to retaliate against suspected threats, even if such action would violate the anti-hacking statute, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
The following statement can be attributed to OTI Policy Counsel, Robyn Greene:
"Last week, the Senate made history when it passed the USA FREEDOM Act, taking a major step forward for Americans' privacy. Passing CISA would be like taking two steps back. CISA is essentially a cyber-surveillance bill that would empower the NSA and FBI by giving them access to vast new troves of Americans’ information, and let them use that information for investigations that have nothing at all to do with cybersecurity."
“In addition to our serious substantive concerns - there are some pretty big procedural concerns here too. Senator McConnell has clearly forgotten his promise to run the Senate in a way that encourages debate and reasonable process. For the second time in a month he is trying to ram through a controversial bill - and just like his attempts at a straight Patriot Act reauthorization, this will fail too.”
It failed 56 to 40, four votes short of the necessary total for cloture.

49 Republicans, 6 Democrats, and 1 Independent (King) voted for it.

36 Democrats, 3 Republicans, and 1 Independent (Sanders) voted against it.

The three Republicans who voted against it were Dean Heller (R-NV), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Rand Paul (R-KY).

And here are the 7 members of the Democratic caucus who voted for it:

Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Angus King (I-ME)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Mark Warner (D-VA)

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