It seems the Republican leadership (which includes Sen. John Thune) hasn’t had much luck with their strategy of limiting debate on surveillance bills by pushing them through just before a recess. There was enough opposition to CISA prior to the Senate’s August recess, that they were forced to postpone a vote until September. Since then, I’ve come across a few interesting stories about how CISA may actually make cyber-security worse.
This article on an DOJ IG report, speculates that companies may be hesitant to share any information with the government because of concerns about how the personal information of customers might be used. CISA, after all, allows the information shared with the government to be used for purposes other than cyber-security.
Next, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) replied to a series of questions posed by Senator Al Franken regarding the bill. Senator Franken summed it up nicely:
The Department of Homeland Security’s letter makes it overwhelmingly clear that, if the Senate moves forward with this cybersecurity information- sharing bill, we are at risk of sweeping away important privacy protections and civil liberties, and we would actually increase the difficulty and complexity of information sharing, undermining our nation’s cybersecurity objectives.
It’s rather startling that the DHS would be critical of the bill at this stage. But then again, CISA was crafted behind closed doors by the Senate Intelligence committee.