Senate Intelligence Committee Approves Cybersecurity Information Sharing Bill

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Capitol Building_formattedLast month, we noted that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) released a discussion draft of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.  On Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 12-3 to approve the Act.

Proponents of the bill tout the need for the private and public sectors to share information about the attacks they are facing and how best to defend against them.  But two committee members, Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), while agreeing there is a need for information sharing, opposed the bill due to a concern that it will create a loophole that will enable the federal government to collect private information in the name of security.  Numerous privacy advocates such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Center for Democracy & Technology also oppose the bill.

What is notable is that this is bipartisan bill, and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is pushing for the full Senate to pass it before the August recess.  According to Law360, the approved amendments to the discussion draft require the Attorney General to determine a specific limitation on how long cyber information can be retained and a managers’ amendment to strengthen privacy protections in the bill.  Forbes reports that the full text of the bill is set to be released later this week.  We will continue to monitor its progress.

 


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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