CCIA Urges Senate to Improve Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act

October 15, 2015

Washington — The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) (S. 754) is again due for consideration in the Senate in the coming weeks.  The bill primarily aims to facilitate the timely sharing of cyber threat indicators between and among the private sector and government, with the goal of improving overall domestic Internet and infrastructure security.  The Computer & Communications Industry Association fully supports that goal.

However, CCIA is unable to support CISA as it is currently written. CISA’s prescribed mechanism for sharing of cyber threat information does not sufficiently protect users’ privacy or appropriately limit the permissible uses of information shared with the government.  In addition, the bill authorizes entities to employ network defense measures that might cause collateral harm to the systems of innocent third parties.

It is important to note that while appropriately constructed cybersecurity information sharing legislation can provide a more efficient regime for the voluntary sharing of appropriately limited information between the private sector and government, it is not the only means through which information sharing can occur.  Current legal authorities permit companies to share cyber threat indicators with the government where necessary to protect their rights and the rights of their users, and should not be discounted as useful existing mechanisms.

Still, CCIA recognizes the goal of seeking to develop a more robust system through which the government and private sector can readily share data about emerging threats.  But such a system should not come at the expense of users’ privacy, need not be used for purposes unrelated to cybersecurity, and must not enable activities that might actively destabilize the infrastructure the bill aims to protect.

CCIA looks forward to working with Congress to improve CISA and other related cybersecurity information sharing bills, with the hope that a limited and efficient voluntary information sharing regime, with robust privacy protections and use restrictions, will result.

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