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Senate Approves CISA from PC Mag online

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Senate Approves CISA from PC Mag online

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The Senate today approved a controversial information-sharing bill that detractors argue is too vague and could put Web users' personal information in the hands of the FBI and the NSA.

The differences must now be reconciled with a similar House bill in conference before being sent to President Obama, who has indicated he will sign it.

Bill sponsor Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican and chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, says the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) "helps protect personal privacy, by taking steps to stop future cyber-attacks before they happen, not after Americans personal, financial, and private information is stolen by foreign agents and criminal gangs."

"This legislation creates a cybersecurity information sharing environment that allows participants to get a better understanding of the current cybersecurity threats that may be used against them," he continued.

The bill has support from Democrats like Mark Warner of Virginia, who said today that it's "critical we encourage increased coordination and information sharing, between companies and the government, in order to identify and protect against real threats."

But Al Franken of Minnesota says that while improvements have been made since the bill's introduction earlier this year, "major concerns—raised [by] DHS and voiced by security experts, privacy advocates, and tech companies—still have not been resolved." Among other things, he's worried that companies will get a free pass to monitor anything as long as it's deemed a "cyber-security threat," which they can then share with any federal agency. 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is similarly concerned. "The bill now moves to a conference committee despite its inability to address problems that caused recent highly publicized computer data breaches, like unencrypted filespoor computer architectureun-updated servers, and employees (or contractors) clicking malware links," the group said.

Senators considered several amendments today, all of which were rejected, before approving the bill by a vote of 74 to 21.

Congress tried to pass a similar bill in 2013—the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)—but the Senate declined to take it up.

Earlier this year, President Obama signed an executive order that's intended to facilitate information sharing about cyber threats between the federal government and private companies.


Re: Senate Approves CISA from PC Mag online

Thanks for the article, Gary!

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