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Privacy Watchdogs Condemn CISA, Dismiss Cybersecurity Threats

By: PanAm Post Staff - Jul 17, 2014, 11:37 am

Español The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has teamed up with 35 civil society organizations, companies, and security experts to denounce the the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). They sent a letter on Monday that asks President Barack Obama to veto S. 2588 of 2014.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation takes on latest cybersecurity bill
The Electronic Frontier Foundation takes on latest cybersecurity bill. (EFF)

“CISA fails to offer a comprehensive solution to cybersecurity threats,” the official letter states. “Further, the bill contains inadequate protections for privacy and civil liberties. Accordingly, we request that you promptly pledge to veto CISA.”

Similarly, Thomas Gaist of World Socialist Web Site claims that CISA clears the way for virtually unrestrained information sharing between the US federal government and corporations. He adds that the legislation contains exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act, which could effectively shield information-sharing programs from various forms of oversight.

Invasive cybersecurity bills have been piling up in the US Congress over the past few years. Many privacy advocates and journalists contend that CISA draws from two similar (and controversial) bills: the Cyber Intelligence and Sharing Protection Act CISPA of 2012 and CISPA of 2013. Both cybersecurity bills saw decisive defeats after widespread backlash on the internet and staunch opposition in the Senate.

Despite some changes on the surface, the official letter from EFF points out that “CISA presents many of the same problems that the Administration previously identified with CISPA in its veto threat. Privacy experts have pointed out how CISA would damage the privacy and civil liberties of users.”

EFF stresses that the cybersecurity bill does not provide privacy protections for internet users and permits information sharing that could potentially put journalists and whistleblowers in harm’s way. In addition, this bill contains wide immunities from lawsuits for corporations that decide to share private information.

EFF is a nonprofit organization that has been fighting for digital rights and online privacy since 1990. The full text of the letter can be read here.

Sources: Electronic Frontier Foundation, Technavio, World Socialist Web Site.