As many have reported, the US Senate plans to vote on their version of a cybersecurity bill this coming week. The bill, which represents the Senate’s response to the House’s CISPA, aims to address cybersecurity reform. As written, the CSA would set up an optional program where businesses deemed critical to the national infrastructure (such as power grids) would be asked to meet cybersecurity standards set by a group of government agencies. It would also establish a protocol for government agencies and businesses to share cybersecurity threat information with one another.
There isn’t a great argument as to why we need this legislation, but there are two important amendments that have been released that make the bill a bit better than it currently stands. These two amendments work by changing the following (via AVC):
The Franken Amendment strikes section 701 from the Senate’s bill. Section 701 provides companies with the explicit right to monitor private user communications and engage in countermeasures.
The Wyden Amendment requires law enforcement officials to procure a warrant before obtaining location data from a person’s cell phone, laptop or other gadgets.
The Cybersecurity Act of 2012 offers a much better future than CISPA with the Franken and Wyden amendments included. This updated bill takes a major step towards addressing overall privacy concerns, and while not perfect, it is a much needed improvement over CISPA and the unamended bill.
If you’re interested, you can learn more about the bill here. You can also get involved here. Keeping the internet open and safe is the first step in protecting the freedom to innovate online. This is important stuff.
We believe that a free and open Internet can bring about a better world. To keep the Internet free and open, we call on communities, industries and countries to recognize these principles. We believe that they will help to bring about more creativity, more innovation and more open societies.
I support this.
For a bit of background, the Verge has a great writeup.