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Government Surveillance

Statement on Lieberman-Collins-Carper Cybersecurity Bill

Washington, DC — Today, the Center for Democracy & Technology released the following statement on the introduction of the Lieberman-Collins-Carper cybersecurity bill, the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act:

"We thank Senators Lieberman, Collins and Carper for their leadership on cybersecurity and for the care that went into this complex, sweeping legislation," said CDT President Leslie Harris.  "The bill includes some important privacy protections for Internet communications that might be sought by DHS in connection with its cybersecurity mission and shared with intelligence and law enforcement agencies,” she noted.

The bill does not specify whether the broad emergency powers it would grant include authority to shut down or limit Internet traffic on private systems.  "The authors of the bill have signaled their intent to give the President no Internet 'kill switch' authority," Harris said. "We look forward to working with them to make sure the bill clearly reflects that intention."   In addition, Harris called for further clarification of what critical infrastructures and related information systems would be subject to the bill's exacting requirements. 

The Lieberman-Collins-Carper bill is the most comprehensive cybersecurity legislation introduced in this Congress.  Other pending legislation includes the Rockefeller-Snowe Cybersecurity Act (S. 773), recently reported by the Commerce Committee, and legislation to strengthen Federal agencies’ information systems that has been attached to the House Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 5136) for FY 2011.