Senate delays vote on CISA cyberthreat info sharing bill

Lawmakers plan to take up the controversial bill after a month-long recess

Privacy concerns have delayed a U.S. Senate vote on a controversial cyberthreat information-sharing bill until lawmakers return from a month-long recess.

The Senate will not vote on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) before lawmakers leave Washington, D.C., Thursday for their August recess, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said late Wednesday.

CISA would give businesses immunity from customer lawsuits when they share information about cyberthreats with each other and with federal agencies, but opponents of the bill say it would enable the sharing of personal information with the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies.

McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, had pushed this week for a cloture vote, which would have ended debate and set up a final vote on CISA. But several senators objected to the legislation and pushed for several amendments.

Under an agreement between majority Republicans and minority Democrats, opponents of the legislation have withdrawn their insistence that the Senate hold a cloture vote before moving to a final vote. Cloture requires a 60-vote supermajority of the 100-member Senate.

In return, McConnell will allow about 20 amendments to CISA to be introduced when the bill comes back to the Senate for a vote this fall.

Digital rights groups and other opponents of CISA had waged an aggressive campaign against CISA in recent weeks, with opponents sending more than 6 million faxes to senators in less than a week.

On the other side, several trade groups, including the tech-focused Information Technology Industry Council [ITI], have called on the Senate to pass the bill.

Without amendments, CISA would have allow agencies to share customer information with government agencies with "only a cursory review," Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and opponent of the bill said Wednesday.

"Information sharing ... without vigorous, robust privacy safeguards will not be considered by millions of Americans to be a cybersecurity bill," Wyden added. "Millions of Americans will say that legislation is a surveillance bill."

Supporters of CISA say the bill makes information sharing by businesses voluntary, "but for the citizens of Pennsylvania and the citizens of Oregon, it's not voluntary," Wyden said. "The people of Pennsylvania won't be asked first whether they want their information sent to the government. For them, this legislation is mandatory."

Others called on the Senate to pass CISA. Cyberattacks against the U.S. are "getting more and more devastating," said Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat. "It isn't going to stop. It's going to get worse."

Increased information sharing will help businesses identify and respond to cyberthreats, Feinstein added. CISA is "the on-ramp to cybersecurity protection in this country," she said. "It gives companies the ability to talk to each other about a well-defined threat indicator."

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags U.S. SenateMitch McConnellsecurityDianne FeinsteinRon Wydenlegislationgovernmentdata protectionprivacy

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?