|House Passes Massie Amendment to Strengthen Privacy and Security
WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed an important anti-surveillance amendment sponsored by Congressman Thomas Massie, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX). The amendment was part of the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations bill, which funds many government agencies, including the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce.
The 383-43 vote represents a victory for electronic privacy advocates. Massie's amendment would prevent the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) from cooperating with the NSA to weaken encryption standards for the purpose of facilitating electronic surveillance.
“When our government weakens encryption software to spy on citizens, it puts everyone at risk. Hackers can exploit weak encryption to gain access to Americans' confidential health records and financial information," said Congressman Massie. "The NIST charter is to establish dependable standards, not to compromise standards for the purpose of spying."
The House passed the underlying CJS appropriations bill, 242-183. The measure will require passage in the Senate before advancing to the President.