Thursday, April 18, 2013

Conyers Votes Against Cybersecurity Bill; Says Congress Must Not Forsake Privacy Protections



(WASHINGTON) – Today, the House of Representatives voted 288 to 127 to pass H.R. 624, the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act” (CISPA). This legislation overrides current privacy laws to permit private companies to share information with the federal government if there is a suspected cyber threat, but does not require the companies to remove unrelated private information of customers from what they turn over. Under the bill, companies would also enjoy broad liability protection.  Following passage of the bill, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued this statement:

U.S. Congressman
John Conyers, Jr.
“While it is essential that Congress address our nation’s glaring cybersecurity deficiencies, I am disappointed that the House of Representatives passed CISPA, over the veto threat of President Obama, without critical privacy safeguards,” said Conyers.

“In its current form, CISPA would allow the federal government to potentially have access to a private citizen’s email, medical records, and other personal information. Unfortunately, the House did not approve amendments to require companies to use reasonable efforts to remove unrelated private information from what they turn over to the government.” 

“In addition, CISPA contains provisions that limit private companies from liability. If a company makes a poor cybersecurity decision based on information it obtains that harms public, the company would not be held responsible for their actions.
“Our nation faces very real cyber threats, but this bill is not the right way to address them.  Effective cybersecurity legislation must protect our privacy and encourage better cybersecurity practices, but this bill fails to do both.   We must address these shortcomings before a bill reaches the President’s desk.”

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