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Government Surveillance

Week of Action On CISPA Preceding “Cybersecurity Week” in the House

Washington – This week CDT is participating in a “week of action” urging Internet users to ask their Members of Congress to amend parts of CISPA—the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act—that pose serious threats to privacy.

Other groups joining in the week of action include The Constitution Project, American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Fight for the Future, Free Press, Reporters Without Borders, Sunlight Foundation, TechFreedom, and others.

CDT sees the need for cybersecurity legislation, but cannot support overly broad legislation with no restrictions on government abuse.

“CDT’s main concerns with CISPA are that it has an almost unlimited description of the information that can be shared with the government; it allows for a large flow of private communications directly to the NSA, an agency with little accountability; and it lacks meaningful use restrictions – it should be made clear that information shared for cybersecurity should be used for cybersecurity purposes, not unrelated national security purposes or criminal investigations,” said CDT Senior Counsel Greg Nojeim.

CDT believes that a separate cybersecurity bill, the PRECISE Act, sponsored by Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), has information sharing language that offers a better alternative to CISPA, balancing cybersecurity, industry, and civil liberties concerns.

“We need cybersecurity legislation, not surveillance legislation,” said CDT President Leslie Harris.  “We’ve recently seen that when Internet users advocate for their rights, they can have a profound impact on the legislative process; this week, it is up to Internet users to speak up for their privacy rights by asking their Members of Congress to amend CISPA.”

CDT’s action page: Security, Not Surveillance – Stop NSA Cyberspying