…but not without opposition
Today, a controversial cybersecurity bill aimed at making it easier for corporations to prevent hacking attacks advanced in the Senate with bipartisan support.
The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) in its current form would make it possible for corporations to share information about cyberattacks with each other—or the goverment—without having to worry about fielding privacy-based lawsuits.
The bill enjoys bipartisan support in the Senate—and has languished under bipartisan opposition, led by Kentucky Senator and Presidential hopeful Rand Paul.
But many privacy activists and a few lawmakers, including Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, vehemently oppose it. Several big tech companies also have come out against the measure, arguing that it fails to protect users’ privacy and does too little to prevent cyber attacks.
“The bill would grant legal immunity to companies who in sharing information actually violate your privacy,” Paul said in the Senate shortly after the procedural vote of 83 to 14, well above the 60 “yes” votes needed to move ahead.
The Senate began debating amendments to the measure, which is on track to pass next week.
The House of Representatives passed its version of CISA in April with strong support from Republicans and Democrats.
Any version of CISA passed by the Senate would have to be reconciled with the House bill before it could be sent to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into law.
A source close to the White House said the administration would applaud CISA’s passage and push for revisions as it was being reconciled with the House bill.
Many advocacy organizations, like Freedomworks, are concerned that CISA’s data sharing protections could lead to Americans’ personal information ending up in the hands of foreign hackers—by way of vulnerable federal agencies:
Of course, many high-profile tech companies oppose the bill:
Security+privacy are both priorities for us and therefore we can't support #CISA as written. We hope to see positive changes going forward.
— Policy (@policy) October 20, 2015
Congress is trying to pass a "cyber security" bill that threatens your privacy. Join us & others to oppose: http://t.co/WtpEoS4ESS
— Yelp (@Yelp) October 19, 2015
Apple and Dropbox also oppose the bill, citing privacy concerns.
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