Cyber-Security Bill Seen as Good First Step Despite Privacy Concerns
NEWS ANALYSIS: The House of Representatives passes a bill to encourage sharing of information about cyber-attacks. But critics say the law doesn't go far enough to protect personal privacy.The passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of the Protecting Cyber Networks Act on Aprils 22 is being widely hailed as a critical first step in protecting networks in the United States against cyber-criminals. This bill is intended to make it easier for companies to share information about cyber-attacks with other companies and with the government. A similar bill is in line for consideration by the U.S. Senate in the near future. President Obama has already indicated that he'll sign it. This new bill takes a critical step by limiting the liability of companies that share cyber-security information in good faith, it restricts distribution of the information within the government, it forbids the information from being provided to the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Defense, and it requires that personal information be removed before the information is passed to other companies or the government. However, some privacy and security advocates say the bill doesn't go far enough in protecting privacy and that it allows companies with shoddy security practices to escape consequences of data breaches and thefts.
But remember, this bill is only the first step. A companion bill, The National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act of 2015, will fill in some holes. That bill has been reported out to the full House and is expected to be voted on within a few days. Passage of that bill is also anticipated.