October 21, 2015
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
United States Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator McConnell:
In response to reports that the Senate may soon consider S.754, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, the undersigned organizations respectfully submit the following letter noting our strong opposition to the proposed legislation, and our support for efforts to improve it.
Revelations about the National Security Agency’s secret collection of the personal information of millions of Americans highlighted the critical need for more oversight of government intelligence agencies and protections of consumers’ sensitive personal information. Common sense would tell us that expanding opportunities for government surveillance is not the solution to overly expansive surveillance programs. Unfortunately, a number of provisions in CISA would do just that .
We strongly oppose CISA because it is the wrong solution to the problem of cybercrime. Rapid and expansive sharing of cyber threat data between corporations and government agencies without sufficient safeguards will increase the risk of misuse of that information. Imposing those safeguards would require significant re-writing of the legislation. Given this problem, we believe CISA to be fatally flawed.
As the data available for collection becomes increasingly sensitive, it is Congress’ duty to ensure that individual privacy is protected. Congress can partially ameliorate the harm that CISA would cause by adopting pending consumer privacy amendments. In particular, we urge you to support the amendment Senator Wyden (D-OR) has offered (#2621) to require, to the extent feasible, that all entities remove personally identifiable information not necessary to describe or identify a cybersecurity threat before sharing cybersecurity threat information under the bill.
On behalf of America’s consumers, we urge you to oppose CISA because it will do severe harm to consumers’ civil liberties, and we urge you to support the Wyden amendment to diminish that harm.
Thank you for your consideration,
Center for Democracy & Technology
Center for Digital Democracy
Consumer Federation of America
National Consumers League
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
The Honorable Richard Burr, Chairman, Select Committee on Intelligence
The Honorable John Cornyn, Majority Whip
The Honorable Dick Durbin, Minority Whip
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, Vice-Chairman, Select Committee on Intelligence
The Honorable Harry Reid, Minority Leader