The National Security Agency (NSA) is using a new law passed in the US Senate to get around the restrictions on its spying powers.
The bill, known as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), would give the agency more leeway to spy on private companies and the private data of US citizens and residents, as well as foreign governments.
The law is part of a broader overhaul of US law aimed at fighting cyberattacks and to prevent future ones, which has come under increased scrutiny as more companies and individuals reveal their online activities.
President Donald Trump signed CISPA into law in February after years of resistance from Democrats and privacy advocates, who said the legislation could be used to allow the NSA to collect data about American citizens without a warrant.
The law is designed to give the government more tools to collect information from US citizens.
It was not immediately clear if the bill, called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CEIS), would have any impact on any devices.
“This is not a piecemeal bill,” said Scott Stewart, the president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which helped write the legislation.
“The bill is the most comprehensive reform to the surveillance powers of the NSA in decades.”
The legislation, which passed the Senate on Wednesday and the House of Representatives on Thursday, requires the NSA and Cyber Command, which is part, or a subsidiary, of the CIA, to share information about cyberattacks with the government.
This information includes information about where and when an attack was launched, who carried out the attack and the amount of data collected, the information would not be subject to privacy protections.
It would also require the NSA or Cyber Command to share more information about cybersecurity threats to US infrastructure, including vulnerabilities that have been exploited by foreign governments, terrorist groups or hackers.
A spokesperson for CISPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The CISPA Cybersecurity Act would help strengthen our nation’s cyber defenses and enable the intelligence community to identify and prevent future cyberattacks,” said White House Press Secretary Lindsay Walters in a statement.
The Cyber Intelligence Authorization Act, passed by the House last year, gives the intelligence agencies broad authority to share cyberthreat information with the federal government.
The legislation has not yet been approved by the Senate.
The Senate Intelligence Committee passed a cybersecurity bill last year that included cybersecurity information sharing, but the legislation did not go to a vote.
The White House said last year the legislation would allow the intelligence and law enforcement agencies to share the full range of cyberthreat intelligence.
The measure also allows the NSA, Cyber Command and the Defense Cybersecurity Agency to share and share cybersecurity information.