House Passes Cybersecurity Bill Allowing Companies To Share Customer Data With Government Agencies
The House has just passed two cybersecurity bills that should cause some major concern for those who believe the US government's spying efforts have already gone way too far. The House Permanent Select Committee passed the 'Protecting Cyber Networks Act', while the House Homeland Security Committee passed the 'National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act'. The two bills will be soon merged and forwarded to the Senate for advancement.
The goal of both bills is to help thwart 'hackers' quicker. They could allow companies dealing with an issue to work with other companies, as well as the government, to help get to the bottom of it as quickly as possible. In many cases, many attacks don't have monetary gain as the reason behind them, but rather the desire to impact the US ecosystem or fetch important information.
On the surface, the bills actually seem fair, but the EFF warns that they're just another notch on the belt of our privacy being impacted. The organization says that these are really just surveillance bills in disguise, and give companies the ability to disclose sensitive information with legal immunity. What it actually facilitates is allowing companies to divulge a lot more personal information than it has before, and as the public, we'd be none-the-wiser.
The EFF has vehemently opposed both bills, but despite that, a staggering 307 (vs. 116) were in favor of the 'Protecting Cyber Networks Act'. Effectively, the battle on this has been lost, but the EFF says that there are other bills that are just as concerning, such as the Cyber Threat Sharing Act of 2015.
What I hope eventually comes of this is that companies that divulge more information than the general public would deem necessary to the government will be outed, and then as consumers we'd be able to use the power of our wallets to show what we think of it. But, that's easier said than done.