New cybersecurity legislation cleared the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday during a closed session. Critics fear it may broaden the NSA’s already formidable access to Americans’ data.
Written by Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and
Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), CISA – or Cybersecurity
Information Protection Act – is widely seen as a redux of last
year’s CISPA bill, which was widely protested by online privacy
watchdogs and ultimately defeated in Congress.
A draft of the bill circulated in June granted permission by
government agencies to retain and share data for “a
cybersecurity purpose,” which was defined as “the
purpose of protecting an information system or information that
is stored on, processed by or transiting an information system
from a cybersecurity threat or security vulnerability.”
According to the Guardian, that language would likely lead the
NSA to stockpile weaknesses in digital security.
The legislation, which was approved by the committee by a vote of
12 to 3, would allow private firms to share information regarding
cyber-attacks “in real time.” It would also shield those
firms from lawsuits by individual