Coalition Urges President Obama to Oppose Cybersurveillance Bill

A coalition of 68 civil society organizations, security experts and academics from across the political spectrum have joined TCP in urging President Obama to “strongly oppose” the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015.

In a letter delivered to the White House on July 27, the group argued that the bill fails to establish civilian control over domestic cybersecurity, significantly increases the federal government’s access to personal information, and authorizes use of that information for a myriad of purposes unrelated to cybersecurity, undermining traditional due process protections.  The letter notes that Obama administration threatened to veto cybersecurity legislation in previous years because they failed to safeguard privacy and civil liberties.  CISA fails to address any of the concerns that were raised in earlier Statements of Administration Policy, the group wrote.

After the Senate Intelligence Committee adopted the bill in secret earlier this year, the legislation awaits a vote by the full Senate.  The bill’s supporters say it would facilitate the exchange of cyberthreat information between the private sector and the government.  The Center for Democracy and Technology has a fuller analysis of flaws in the legislation.

In addition to The Constitution Project, groups signing the letter include the ACLU, the American Library Association, the Center for Democracy & Technology, the Cyber Privacy Project, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, FreedomWorks, the Liberty Coalition, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Restore the Fourth and R Street.

Several members of the TCP staff also co-authored a column in Huffington Post based on a 2012 report from the Liberty and Security Committee that spells out requirements for a comprehensive and Constitutional cybersecurity policy.

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