The surveillance reform battle has only just begun, and even in the wake of various small victories spearheaded by coalitions of civil libertarians and privacy advocates, the war over civil liberties continues to rage. The newest battle concerns the Cybersecurity and Information Sharing Act (CISA) currently in the Senate.

As I pointed out in an op-ed published in The Hill this week, CISA contains a good deal of frighteningly broad authorizations for domestic surveillance and data collection. The trouble with cybersecurity information-sharing bills like CISA is that

Much of the necessary information-sharing for cybersecurity is already occurring under existing laws. Specifically, technologists and network security specialists have publicly confirmed that CISA and other cyber-threat/information-sharing bills are entirely unnecessary, given the current arrangement between government entities and private firms. …

Additionally, these experts say they would welcome legislative changes if they (1) limited the categories of information to be shared to only those requiring “securing systems against future attacks,” (2) mandated firms to scrub all personal identifiable information (PII) and other private data, and (3) did not permit shared information to be used for nonsecurity issues. …

Among the more frightening elements of CISA is the authorization for law enforcement agencies to use information derived through companies’ voluntary dissemination to investigate and prosecute a wide array of garden-variety crimes – sans any pesky warrant.

You can read the op-ed here.

The other important issue at stake with a bill like CISA is its almost complete disregard for the security system that has characterized the Internet for the past quarter-century. As I point out in my latest blog post, online security is largely conducted through ad-hoc affiliations of security experts arranged into computer security incident response teams (CSIRTs).

[M]ost of the work of ensuring online security, [according to Milton Mueller,] “is done not by national states promulgating and enforcing public law, but by private actors in emergent forms of peer production, network organizations, and markets.” The governance of cybersecurity occurs primarily through ad-hoc, informal trust-based relationships established among only security experts. … [S]tates serve as partners in, not officiators of, online security.

As often happens, however, facts and evidence seem to be little deterrence to state action on these issues. And, indeed, many within the intelligence community are not sitting idly by as privacy advocates and coalitions of concerned civil libertarians work to curtail domestic surveillance powers.

To wit, Admiral Michael Rogers, head of the Pentagon’s U.S. Cyber Command, delivered the keynote address at this week’s GEOINT 2015 conference. Hosted by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, the goal of the conference is to promote “the geospatial intelligence [GEOINT] tradecraft and [build] a stronger GEOINT Community across industry, academia, government, professional organizations and individual stakeholders.”

Its slogan this year? “Opening the aperture.” And that is exactly what Rogers was promoting as he emphasized the need for developing the means to capitalize on more robust geospatial imaging technology that would give the intelligence community “the ability to visualize” and “create a much broader picture” of the earth and its residents.

Like Yogi Berra once said, “It’s déjà-vu all over again.”