The House, in a bi-partisan fashion, passed H.R. 624, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. H.R. 624 seeks to establish voluntary information-sharing links between the private sector and the government. Rather than seeking to intrude on the private sector by mandating the sharing of information, this bill encourages companies to share cyber threat information by limiting the government’s use of the information and protecting the companies from liability.
The bill includes safeguards to our personal liberty which Democrats who voted against the bill (98 NO, 92 YES) thought we don’t need or deserve. Specifically, that the federal government may not make use of any records with personal identifiable information—such as firearms sales records, tax return records, and medical records—shared under the legislation. And, nothing in the bill authorizes the Department of Defense, National Security Agency or other Intelligence Community element to target an American citizen for surveillance. And that nothing in the bill authorizes companies receiving cyber threat information to sell the personal information of a consumer for marketing purposes.
Contrary to the Big Brother mentality that pervades Washington, the bill is constrained to limiting and combating cyber security threats only. Next step is for the Senate to do something with it. Or not.