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[ISN] Groups Warn Of Privacy Concerns In Cybersecurity Bills
By Josh Smith
February 9, 2012
Some efforts to share more information about cyberthreats could open a
Pandoraâs Box of privacy and civil rights concerns, civil liberties
advocates said on Thursday.
As Congress looks to pass wide-ranging cybersecurity legislation this
year, several bills included proposals for increasing the flow of
information between government agencies and private companies.
If not implemented carefully, such measures could undermine privacy and
other limits on government intrusion, the Center for Democracy and
Technologyâs Gregory Nojeim said at a Capitol Hill briefing for
Two issues are of particular concern, he said. The amount and type of
information that is collected or shared needs to be narrowly limited;
and the use of that information needs to be used only for cybersecurity
efforts, not other, unrelated crimes. Nojeim praised a bill approved by
a House Homeland Security subcommittee on Feb. 1 that creates a
quasi-governmental organization to oversee information sharing and
defines what information can be shared.
âThere is widespread agreement that ISPs (internet service providers)
and other operators of computer networks need clearer legal authority in
order to be able to share with each other â and with the government --
signatures and other information about suspected attacks on their
networks,â Nojeim wrote in a summary of the legislation. âHowever, since
we are talking about privately owned and operated networks that carry
personal communications, any sharing of information must be carefully
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