US: Controversial cyber security bill proposed

Tom Errington

In July the Senate Intelligence Committee approved a bill for the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (“CISA”) that would encourage companies to share information about threats with each other and the federal government. The bill has been controversial, especially in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations about access to US citizens’ data, as it would give the NSA wider powers to access, retain and use data for “a cybersecurity purpose”. This is rather broadly defined as “the purpose of protecting an information system or information that is stored on, processed by or transiting an information system from a cybersecurity threat or security vulnerability”. Indeed, an open letter from a number of privacy, civil liberties and open government groups has been published criticising the bill. Further coverage can be found here, here and here. The bill is expected to see a full vote in the Senate this year. The text of the bill is available on the Congress website here.

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