Incident Response, TDR

Report: Senator drafts information-sharing bill in the vein of CISPA

A California lawmaker has reportedly drafted legislation akin to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a contentious bill that failed to gain support from the Senate this year.

The new bill would support information-sharing between the private sector and the government, the central aim of CISPA, which itself provided concerning provisions for legal immunity and failed to make certain that personally identifiable information (PII) would be removed in the threat-sharing process.

On Tuesday, Brendan Sasso, a writer for The Hill's technology blog, revealed that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has been working on legislation that would serve as the “Senate's counterpart” to CISPA.

In late April, the Senate decided not to take up CISPA, despite the fact that the House of Representatives passed the bill earlier that month. Feinstein told The Hill that a draft bill was prepared and she planned to move forward with the legislation. reached out to Feinstein's office on Wednesday, but did not immediately hear back.

Little else about the bill has been revealed other than it would serve as a complement to CISPA, but the move has privacy advocates expectant of the developing legislation.

Mark Jaycox, a policy analyst and legislative assistant for San Francisco-based digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, told on Wednesday that government guidance, like the cyber security executive order issued in February, has proven to support information-sharing about cyber threats between the public and private sector.

Anything reminiscent to CISPA's privacy-impacting provisions, however, could encourage government agencies to tread in dangerous terrain, he said.

“The devil is the details, so we will have to wait to see the language of the bill,” Jaycox said, later adding,  “I would hope that Senator Feinstein realizes that any bill that tries to provide legal immunity or information-sharing [of PII] won't pass the Senate,” he said.

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