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Senate panel approves data-sharing cybersecurity bill

2014-07-09 09:10 by
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The Senate Intelligence Committee today approved a cybersecurity bill that would encourage companies to share information about threats with each other and the federal government. The bill is known as the Cyber Information Sharing Act (CISA). The Senate group voted 12 to 3 to advance the bill. It should see a full vote this year.

"Cyber-attacks present the greatest threat to our national and economic security today, and the magnitude of the threat is growing," the bill's co-author Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said. "Every week we hear about the theft of personal information from retailers and trade secrets from innovative businesses, as well as ongoing efforts by foreign nations to hack government networks."

Lawmakers have been struggling for years to move cybersecurity legislation. Civil liberties advocates have opposed CISA, arguing that it fails to adequately shield Americans' privacy. Proponents of the bill say it will help stop attacks by encouraging data-sharing between businesses and the government.

A similar bill to provide companies liability protection passed the House last year. But the White House threatened to veto that bill, known as CISPA - for the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act - if Congress approved it without strengthening privacy protections. The committee has consulted with the White House and, members said, they believe they have a bill that balances privacy concerns with the desire to improve computer network security.

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