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Controversial CISA bill has major tech companies up in arms

Even though Barack Obama recently said his administration will not pursue any legislation regarding anti-encryption, it didn't stop other institutions from pursuing snooping-allowing laws.

The latest in the string of US government's controversial legislatives is called Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), and is something the majority of large US tech companies are fretting over.

The CISA, which is up for debate in the Senate in the next few weeks, is being presented as a benefit in terms of information sharing and counter-terrorism, but the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) (opens in new tab), which supports such aims, believes the Act is poorly written.

"The CCIA fully supports [the] goal. However, the CCIA is unable to support CISA as it is currently written. CISA's prescribed mechanism for the sharing of cyber threat information does not sufficiently protect users' privacy or appropriately limit the permissible uses of information shared with the government," said the CCIA in a blog post.

"In addition, the bill authorises entities to employ network defence measures that might cause collateral harm to the systems of innocent third parties."

Even though CCIA acknowledges the fact that legislation is needed and could sort out some problems, CISA, as it’s written now, can’t help.

“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.”

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.