Like a bad penny, CISPA has returned…

Last week, Rep. Mike J. Rogers (R-MI) and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) introduced the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2013, H.R. 624 (CISPA) in the House. This is essentially the same bill (H.R. 3523) that the House passed in April of last year and that the President Obama threatened to veto . The President has again made his opinion known, this time via an executive order, Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. In the absence of legislation in this area, the executive order provides policy for the federal government to increase its cybersecurity.

CISPA would make it possible for private companies to share information with the government while keeping info from the public, violating the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Page seven, lines 10-13 (pdf) of the bill clearly state that cyber threat information shared with the federal government “shall be exempt from disclosure under section 552 of title 5, United States Code (Commonly known as the ‘Freedom of Information Act’”. The ironic thing is that much of the information that the companies might share is already protected under FOIA!

The American Library Association will again work with other civil liberty groups to oppose CISPA. Please stay tuned for more information as this movement progresses!

For more information, please visit the ALA’s website.

Jessica McGilvary is the Assistant Director of ALA Washington Office's Office of Government Relations (OGR).

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Posted in Cybersecurity, Intellectual Freedom, Legislation, OGR, Open Access

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