Senate Intelligence Committee Approves Dangerous Cybersecurity Bill

from the because-of-course dept

We've written about the Senate's dangerous CIPA bill -- which is Congress' latest (bad) attempt to help increase the NSA-led surveillance state by giving companies blanket immunity if they share private information with the government... all in the name of overhyped "cybersecurity." We, of course, have been through this fight before, with the CISPA bill, which passed in the House a few times, but couldn't get any traction in the Senate. This time around, the (really bad) Senate version passed out of the Senate Intelligence Committee by a 12-3 vote (held in secret, of course). Not surprisingly, two of the three who voted against it are Ron Wyden and Mark Udall.

By now you should know: if Ron Wyden and Mark Udall are against something related to surveillance, you should be against it too (and the opposite is true as well).

The "good" news is that despite the overwhelming support by the NSA's biggest cheerleaders on the rest of the Senate Intelligence Committee, it seems unlikely that the bill will have enough support in the overall Senate. And it will hopefully remain that way. This bill is a dangerous one, that is solely designed to give the NSA and some companies additional legal "cover" for aiding the NSA's surveillance efforts. Thanks to Snowden's revelations, companies are, in general, a lot less willing to do that these days anyway, but giving those companies blanket liability to do so is a bad, bad idea.

And while there's still little to no evidence that the "cybersecurity threat" is anywhere close to as big as what the FUDmongers insist it is, even if that is true, no one has yet explained what laws actually get in the way of having companies share critical cybersecurity information as needed. And, if such laws really do exist, any solution should to just be narrowly focused on fixing those laws, rather than granting broad immunity for sharing just about any info.
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Filed Under: cisa, cispa, cybersecurity, dianne feinstein, mark udall, ron wyden, saxby chambliss, senate, senate intelligence committee


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jul 2014 @ 11:30am

    Information sharing? Like telling the government and other companies that your business has just been hacked, but not informing customers about the hack until 3 months to half a year later?

    Also, not telling other companies about the hack, because disclosing financial losses to your competitors might put your company at a disadvantage.

    That leaves mandatory disclosures to the government. Is the government going to protect your corporate networks? If so how? Will they be deploying intrusion protection systems and skilled IT technicians to protect your infrastructure? Of course not!

    At most, the government will use the mandatory hacking disclosures in order to launch more hacking allegations towards foreign nations, such as China. How's that been working out? Last I heard China has broke off relations with the US on cyber espionage cooperation, and alleged that the US is a "hacking empire".

    Also, Cisco and IBM are reporting record sales declines for the businesses in the Chinese market.

    Let's recap. With this bill customers and businesses have given up most of their privacy and are facing decreased revenue, in return for no increased revenue or security what so over.

    Sounds like the typical bills coming out of Congress these days. Drafted in ignorance. I guess that makes the Senate Intelligence Committee a oxymoron.

    Here's an idea. Lets take all the money that would be used to setup these information sharing systems, and put it towards education and training. That way America will have the best trained cyber-security workforce on this planet.

    Naaa. Let's share evidence and throw more mud at China while our systems continue to get hacked. Ding ding ding, we have a winner!

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