Controversial Cybersecurity Bill A Threat To Privacy

Controversial Cybersecurity Bill

As the US Senate prepares to vote on the controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act just days before the August recess, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has warned that the privacy of US citizens and organizations may be compromised. The DHS has also warned that the proposed legislation might slow down response to cyber attacks, and therefore be counter productive.

Additionally, a number of IT firms and privacy advocates are convinced that the proposed legislation will make it much easier for the National Security Agency (NSA) to acquire corporate and personal information that it not related to cybersecurity.

The new cybersecurity bill aims to create incentives that will encourage companies to share information of cyber threats with the federal government, and has generally been welcomed. But potential threats to privacy and other issues could stall implementation of the legislation until next year, because there simply isn’t enough time to debate issues before the upcoming recess at the end of this week.

Privacy Threats

An active privacy advocate, Senator Al Franken (Democrat) has made public a letter to him from the deputy secretary of the DHS, Alejandro Mayorkas that indicates if the bill is passed in its current form, it could undermine the cybersecurity objectives of the nation as a whole. It would also threaten “important privacy protections and civil liberties.”

Senator Bernie Sanders (Democrat), who is running for president, has proposed an amendment to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) that will establish a group that will investigate the implications relating to privacy and how data gathered might be used. Essentially he wants transparency for consumers and for Government because of the real threat of modern technology on the privacy of Americans. His argument is that public policy has been outpaced by technology, and already “a huge amount of information” is being collected about individuals from where they go to what they do.

Also an active advocate for the individual right to privacy, Sanders voted against the USA Freedom Act earlier this year, because he said it did not safeguard privacy. Amongst other things, the legislation, enacted in June this year, “reformed” the way federal government conducts electronic surveillance, uses trap and trace devices, gathers information for counter-terrorism, foreign intelligence and criminal purposes, and accesses business records.

Two other senators, Dianne Feinstein (Democrat) and Richard Burr (Republican), have also proposed changes to the bill that will limit what government can do with information shared. For example, they say it should only be used for cybersecurity purposes and not to prosecute criminals, even in the case of “serious violent felonies.”

Calls to Pass the Bill Immediately

This is the third time a cybersecurity bill of this type has been presented to the Senate. To prevent it being stalled a third time, the US Chamber of Commerce – a very influential body – has urged “every member” to pass the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 immediately. When the bill was approved by the Senate’s Intelligence Committee in March this year there was only one vote against it – that of Senator Ron Wyden (Democrat) who continues to push for amendments before it becomes law.

Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader (Republican) has also urged senators to pass the bill immediately.

If the bill is passed this week, it will still need to be “reconciled” with cybersecurity bill passed by the House of Representatives in April. Only then can it sent to President Barack Obama for signing into law.

By Penny Swift

Kelly Dyer

Healthcare Data Security: Why It Matters

Healthcare Data Security Today, electronic healthcare data exists at every point along a patient’s journey. So frequently is it being processed, accessed, and shared between multiple providers, that we’d be forgiven for forgetting the highly ...
James Crowley

Does Open-Source Software Hold the Key to Data Security?

Open-Source Software Data Security Whether you realize it or not, open-source software is everywhere in our everyday tech, from mobile phones to air travel, from streaming Netflix to space exploration. Open-source software has played a ...
Doug Hazelman Cloudberry

Managing an Increasingly Complex IT Environment

Managing Complex IT Environments The hybrid work model is here to stay—at least for the time being. That’s how things feel in these still uncertain times. This new way of work that has evolved from ...
David Loo

The Long-term Costs of Data Debt: How Inaccurate, Incomplete, and Outdated Information Can Harm Your Business

The Long-term Costs of Data Debt It’s no secret that many of today’s enterprises are experiencing an extreme state of data overload. With the rapid adoption of new technologies to accommodate pandemic-induced shifts like remote ...
Threat Security

Azure Red Hat OpenShift: What You Should Know

Azure Red Hat OpenShift: What You Should Know What Is Azure Red Hat OpenShift? Red Hat OpenShift provides a Kubernetes platform for enterprises. Azure Red Hat OpenShift permits you to deploy fully-managed OpenShift clusters in ...

CLOUD MONITORING

The CloudTweaks technology lists will include updated resources to leading services from around the globe. Examples include leading IT Monitoring Services, Bootcamps, VPNs, CDNs, Reseller Programs and much more...

  • Opsview

    Opsview

    Opsview is a global privately held IT Systems Management software company whose core product, Opsview Enterprise was released in 2009. The company has offices in the UK and USA, boasting some 35,000 corporate clients. Their prominent clients include Cisco, MIT, Allianz, NewVoiceMedia, Active Network, and University of Surrey.

  • Nagios

    Nagios

    Nagios is one of the leading vendors of IT monitoring and management tools offering cloud monitoring capabilities for AWS, EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) and S3 (Simple Storage Service). Their products include infrastructure, server, and network monitoring solutions like Nagios XI, Nagios Log Server, and Nagios Network Analyzer.

  • Datadog

    DataDog

    DataDog is a startup based out of New York which secured $31 Million in series C funding. They are quickly making a name for themselves and have a truly impressive client list with the likes of Adobe, Salesforce, HP, Facebook and many others.

  • Sematext Logo

    Sematext

    Sematext bridges the gap between performance monitoring, real user monitoring, transaction tracing, and logs. Sematext all-in-one monitoring platform gives businesses full-stack visibility by exposing logs, metrics, and traces through a single Cloud or On-Premise solution. Sematext helps smart DevOps teams move faster.