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Groups Urge Opposition to Upcoming Cybersecurity Bill

The Brennan Center and 54 other groups and security experts urged Senate leaders to oppose an upcoming cybersecurity bill that threatens Americans’ privacy.

Published: April 20, 2015

The Brennan Center and 54 civil liberties groups, security experts, and academics, sent a letter urging Senate leaders to oppose the Cybersercurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, a bill that would threaten privacy and civil liberties and seriously undermine cybersecurity.

Specifically, the bill would:

  • Authorize sharing of vaguely defined “cyber threat indicators” without adequate privacy protections prior to sharing;
  • Permit companies to share cyber threat indicators, which may include information about innocent individuals, directly with the NSA;
  • Require that federal entities automatically disseminate to the NSA all cyber threat indicators they receive, including personal information about individuals;
  • Authorize overbroad law enforcement uses that go far outside the scope of cybersecurity; and
  • Authorize companies to deploy dangerous countermeasures, euphemistically called “defensive measures,” that could damage data and computer systems of innocent third parties who did not perpetrate the threat.

Ultimately, the bill fails to provide both strong privacy protections and adequate clarity about what actions can be taken, what information can be shared, and how that information may be used by the government, groups said. For these reasons, the groups strongly urged Senate leaders to oppose the bill. 

Download the letter [PDF]

Coalition Letter Strongly Opposing CISA by The Brennan Center for Justice