Thursday Sep 26, 201304:17 PM GMT
US senator: CISPA sister bill in the works
Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:0PM
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A California lawmaker has drafted legislation similar to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a bill that failed to win support from the US Senate earlier this year.


The new bill, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday, will complement the House-penned CISPA and aims to encourage information-sharing between private companies and the government, in order to battle cyberthreats, according to RT.

Handing over to the government any data that could be used to fight cyber attacks and attempted acts of online espionage by private companies such as Google or Facebook is also reported to be the central aim of CISPA.

The continuous bill, CISPA, failed to pass due to its provisions of legal immunity and concerns of oversharing personal information.

Critics of the bill, including American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the language of the bill is too broad. They said it fails to make sure personally identifiable information (PII) would be removed in the threat-sharing process.

Given the recent revelations by Edward Snowden about the US National Security Agency’s mass spying, the bill is even less likely to advance this time. It was revealed that federal government and US intelligence agencies have been secretly collecting information on American citizens’ domestic and foreign communications.

“Snowden clearly hurt our chances to have an unconfused debate about what we’re trying to accomplish,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said during a US Chamber of Commerce event Wednesday.

Rogers rejected revelations of spying on US citizens as “misinformation,” The Hill reported.

“The government really doesn’t care about what you’re talking about on your email,” Facebook or Twitter, he said. “They are looking to stop the next terrorist attack.”

Rogers is still hopeful to get his bill passed. “I haven’t given up on CISPA,” he said.

As no further details about the new bill are yet released, privacy advocates are waiting to read the full bill.

Mark Jaycox, a policy analyst and legislative assistant for San Francisco-based digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, told SCMagazine.com on Wednesday that it is always the details that open the way for misuse.

“The devil is the details, so we will have to wait to see the language of the bill,” Jaycox said, later adding, “I would hope that Senator Feinstein realizes that any bill that tries to provide legal immunity or information-sharing [of PII] won't pass the Senate.”

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