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Government Surveillance

Cybersecurity Information Sharing Bills Move Forward Without Key Privacy Amendments

The House is considering two cybersecurity information-sharing bills —  the Protecting Cyber Networks Act and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act — that lack privacy protections. Last night, the House Rules Committee decided to deny members the opportunity to vote on key amendments that would have addressed many of the privacy problems with the bills. The amendments would have:

  • Ensured the bills do not authorize hacking back in violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act;
  • Helped make the Intelligence Committee’s bill more about cybersecurity and less about surveillance; and
  • Strengthened the requirement to remove personal information not necessary to share to mitigate a cyber threat.

“At a minimum, House leadership should have given House members a chance to vote on key privacy amendments. By denying the votes, they stymied a necessary debate about privacy and the extent to which Internet users’ personal communications information will be shared with the NSA and law enforcement under the cybersecurity umbrella,” said Greg Nojeim, Director of the Freedom, Security and Technology Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology.