The Problems Experts And Privacy Advocates Have With The Senate’s …

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Evil Internet Bill CISPA Is Back From the Dead, Now Cleverly Titled CISA.

The Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) on Tuesday, a controversial bill that has technology companies and security advocates concerned over future data protections. CISA would force websites and tech firms to share user information with the government, so long as that information fits an astonishingly vague description of a “cyber threat.” The newly successful CISA is recycled from a less-popular model. The video of school officer Ben Fields manhandling and throwing a student across a South Carolina high school classroom caused outrage across the country, leading to Fields being fired and an investigation into his actions. The Senate rejected amendments, including one addressing concerns that companies could give the government personal information about their customers.

Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., said the measure was needed to limit high-profile cyberattacks, such as the one on Sony Pictures last year. “From the beginning we committed to make this bill voluntary, meaning that any company in America, if they, their systems are breached, could choose voluntarily to create the partnership with the federal government. The White House expressed its support for CISA earlier this year. “Cybersecurity is an important national security issue and the Senate should take up this bill as soon as possible and pass it,” White House spokesperson Eric Schultz told The Hill in August. “CISPA is nearly identical to CISA.

The bill approaches information sharing from the same framework,” Mark Jaycox, an analyst with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said. “The Senate bill [CISA] is just smarter with workarounds.” Both bills would offer immunity to companies if they turned over information to the government in order to expose broadly defined “cyber threats.” CISA contains only minor updates, which activists say make the bill more potent than its predecessor. “CISPA was pretty overt in saying ‘the National Security Agency is going to be the lead in this, it’s going to collect the information,’” Jaycox said. “CISA says the Department Homeland Security will be the lead in this, but the DHS has to automatically share it with the NSA … There are small, sly changes like that within CISA.” In 2011 and 2012, the Internet rallied against SOPA and PIPA, two controversial bills that would have given the government new powers to block websites that violated copyright. With PIPA and SOPA you had literally tens of millions of people engaged, writing and calling Congress, posting blackouts on their sites… I don’t think it’s quite the same scale.” The Sunshine in Government Initiative, a Washington organization that promotes open government policies, urged the Senate last week to support Leahy’s amendment. Participation is voluntary and companies have long been reluctant to tell the U.S. government about their security failures. “Passing the bill will have no effect on improving cybersecurity,” said Alan Paller, director of research for the SANS Institute. “That’s been demonstrated each time sharing legislation has been passed. The cost to companies of disclosing their failings is so great that they avoid it even if there is a major benefit to them of learning about other peoples’ failings.” Cyberattacks have affected an increasing number of Americans who shop at Target, use Anthem medical insurance or saw doctors at medical centers at the University of California, Los Angeles.

More than 21 million Americans recently had their personal information stolen when the Office of Personnel Management was hacked in what that the U.S. believes was a Chinese espionage operation. He noted that in the past year the United States has been attacked in cyberspace by Iran, North Korea, China and Russia and that there had been attacks against the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon, OPM and an email hacking of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The U.S. and the technology industry already operate groups intended to improve sharing of information among the government and businesses, including the Homeland Security Department’s U.S.

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