Cybersecurity: Protecting Against Internet Attacks Threatens Civil Liberties


For what purposes may information be shared and used? A cybersecurity law should only authorize sharing of cybersecurity threat information for cybersecurity purposes, including prosecuting cybersecurity crimes. Without that limitation, info sharing could become a backdoor wiretap. Here the Rogers bill is the biggest risk; it permits information shared for cybersecurity reasons to be used for any national security purpose and to prosecute any crime. A warrant or other legal process is essential if the government wants to use the information for other purposes.

Despite the dire picture painted here, Cybersecurity week need not signal open season on civil liberties and privacy. House leadership has a choice between the seriously flawed Rogers bill and the more measured Lungren bill.

Once again we are being told that we have to trade liberty for security; and once again, it's just not true. The House leadership just needs to make the right choice.

Leslie Harris is the president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology

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