Lawmakers to reintroduce controversial information-sharing bill

Privacy advocates say CISPA would allow private companies to share personal information with few restrictions

Two U.S. lawmakers plan to reintroduce a controversial cybersecurity bill that allows private companies to share customers' personal information related to a wide range of cyberthreats with government agencies.

Representatives Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, and C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, a Maryland Democrat, are scheduled to reintroduce the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) on Wednesday, they said in a press release. The new version of CISPA will be identical to the one that passed the U.S. House of Representatives despite objections from several privacy groups.

The bill is needed because of a lack of communication about cyberthreats between private U.S. companies and government agencies, the bill's sponsors said.

Privacy advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Democracy and Technology, opposed the bill during the last session of Congress. The bill would allow private companies to share customer information with the government with few privacy safeguards, the groups have said.

President Barack Obama's administration also opposed the bill. The bill would allow broad sharing of cyberthreat information between private companies and government agencies "without establishing requirements for both industry and the government to minimize and protect personally identifiable information," the White House Office of Management and Budget said last April.

The new version of CISPA will be "the same bill that allows companies to turn over your sensitive internet records directly to the [National Security Agency] and the Department of Defense without requiring them to make even a reasonable effort to protect your privacy," Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel for the ACLU's Washington, D.C., office, wrote in a blog post.

Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Ruppersberger, the committee's ranking Democrat, defended the bill. It would allow the U.S. government to more easily share classified cyberthreat information with private companies, and it would allow private companies to share anonymous cyberthreat information with each other, they said in the press release.

Several tech vendors and trade groups, including the Information Technology Industry Council and the Software and Information Industry Association, voiced support for CISPA last year.

CISPA includes several protections for privacy and civil liberties, its sponsors said. The bill limits the information sharing to cyberthreat information, it restricts the government's use and retention of the data shared, and it allows people to sue the government for privacy violations, they said.

The bill would also sunset in five years, forcing Congress to decide whether its provisions should be extended, they said.

Cyberattacks are "clearly not a theoretical threat -- the recent spike in advanced cyberattacks against the banks and newspapers makes that crystal clear," Rogers said in a statement. "American businesses are under siege. We need to provide American companies the information they need to better protect their networks from these dangerous cyber threats."

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 e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Information Technology Industry CouncilregulationCenter for Democracy and TechnologyMike RogersgovernmentBarack ObamaSoftware and Information Industry AssociationU.S. White House Office of Management and BudgetAmerican Civil Liberties UnionMichelle RichardsonU.S. House of RepresentativessecurityC.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?