U.S. House passes cybersecurity bill

Apr 22, 2015 10:19 pm

Andy Greenberg in Wired reports the U.S. House of Representatives voted April 22 307-116 in favor of the Protecting Cyber Networks Act, "a bill designed to allow more fluid sharing of cybersecurity threat data between corporations and government agencies." Privacy advocates say the bill, "threatens to open up a new backchannel for surveillance of American citizens, in some cases granting the same companies legal immunity to share their users’ private data with government agencies that include the NSA." “PCNA would significantly increase the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) access to personal information, and authorize the federal government to use that information for a myriad of purposes unrelated to cybersecurity,” reads a letter signed earlier this week by 55 civil liberties groups and security experts that includes the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, Human Rights Watch and many others. Congressman Adam Schiff led the advocacy for the bill on the House floor, “In the process of drafting this bill, protecting privacy was at the forefront throughout, and we consulted extensively with privacy and civil liberties groups, incorporating their suggestions in many cases. This is a strong bill that protects privacy, and one that I expect will get even better as the process goes forward—we expect to see large bipartisan support on the Floor.” The White House has voiced previous support for the bill, so the last drama lies in the Senate.