- Unbeliebable: White House turns Bieber petition response into immigration screed
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador’s visa, but says law is ‘advisory’
- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
House intelligence panel all for sharing cybersecurity information
The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted 18-2 Wednesday to pass legislation that would allow private companies to share cybersecurity information with federal agencies.
In a closed-door session, the committee adopted amendments designed to assuage fears that the bill would allow broad government monitoring of domestic electronic communications and scoop up the personal data of Americans for analysis by the National Security Agency.
The bill is expected on the House floor as early as next week.
"This is not a surveillance bill," said Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and committee chairman. "This bill does not allow the NSA or any government agency to plug into domestic networks and listen in."
However, the committee rejected two amendments supported by civil liberties advocates and proposed by the two Democrats who ended up voting against the bill Reps. Adam B. Schiff of California and Janice D. Schakowsky of Illinois.
The Schiff amendment would have required companies sharing cybersecurity information for instance, samples of network traffic data in real time to make "reasonable efforts (which may include automated processes)" to strip out the personally identifiable or private data of individuals "unrelated to a cyberthreat."
Mr. Schiff expressed disappointment that his amendment was voted down.
"It is not too much to ask that companies make sure they aren't sending private information about their customers, their clients and their employees to intelligence agencies, along with genuine cybersecurity information," he said.
The Software and Information Industry Association, which represents the big companies that make software, games and other digital content, opposed the amendment.
Personal or private data "may be intertwined with cybersecurity information in ways that make it hard to remove. That was our concern," said David LeDuc, head of public policy for the association.
Mr. LeDuc offered as an example data tracing a hacker's route into a compromised network, which might include him impersonating or taking over the machine of a person at the company to get the access he needs. That trace data might contain names and passwords, Mr. LeDuc said.
Committee staffers said lawmakers had adopted a different amendment, one that would require the government to strip out personal data.
The amended bill would "require government to establish procedures to minimize the [cybersecurity threat] information they receive of any" personally identifying information, said Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the committee's ranking Democrat. His district includes NSA's headquarters at Fort Meade.
Congress has struggled and failed for years to pass broad cybersecurity legislation to protect nationally vital computer and communications networks such as the phone system or the computer systems of major banks from infiltration and attack by hackers, criminals and even foreign espionage or military agencies.
But the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, its authors say, would remove legal barriers that stop private-sector network owners and federal agencies from sharing real-time data with one another so online intruders or attackers can be detected and thwarted.
CISPA has "very narrowly drawn authorities with no room for misuse or abuse," Mr. Rogers said.
He and Mr. Ruppersberger spoke with reporters on a conference call this week ahead of the closed-door session.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...
- Senator's memo shows Iran links in Homeland Security's troubled immigration program
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- Dems back bill to fix problems in investor visa program
- Democrats proceed with Mayorkas vote despite pending investigation
- Game players don't think peace has a chance in Syria
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- EDITORIAL: Mark Warner running scared?
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- EDITORIAL: More Lerner smoking-gun emails at IRS
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Harry Reid blasts Bundy ranch supporters as 'domestic terrorists'
- 'Deport Bieber' petition draws no comment from White House
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.