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John McCain  (Source: reuters.com)
ACLU believes the bill would give U.S. government agencies access to civilian Internet activity

Republican Senator John McCain's new cybersecurity bill has caught some negative attention from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

McCain's cybersecurity bill, which was introduced last week, supports the voluntary sharing of information instead of regulation of "critical industries" by the Department of Homeland Security. The bill also states that private companies, such as Internet service providers, could send the government information regarding network activity or protocols connected to malicious users.

McCain, who constructed the bill with seven other Republicans, said he wanted the National Security Agency, which has powerful spy tools, to be more involved in cybersecurity matters. He also mentioned that cybersecurity centers could use the information they obtain in order to look into cyber crimes.

However, the ACLU believes that McCain's bill could be problematic. For instance, it worries the ACLU that the bill could give U.S. intelligence agencies access to private emails.

"This is a privacy nightmare that will eventually result in the military substantially monitoring the domestic, civilian Internet," said Michelle Richardson of the ACLU. "It is absolutely critical that if the government wants to collect information, it go through a civilian agency."

An anonymous individual working on the bill said there was nothing in the legislation that would allow the sharing of emails that have nothing to do with cyber threats. McCain's spokesman, Brian Rogers, also defended the bill saying that McCain's only intentions are to address cybersecurity concerns.

"Senator McCain's priority in crafting this bill has been to make sure it strengthens our security while continuing to safeguard the privacy of consumers," said Rogers. "He remains open to addressing legitimate concerns as this process moves forward."

There is also an alternative to McCain's bill, which was constructed by Democrats and supported by Majority Leader Harry Reid. This version prefers to leave cybersecurity to DHS. However, an anonymous Senate aide said that neither bill will likely pass, and that a compromise is expected in the "coming weeks."

Cybersecurity has certainly become a hot topic over the past year especially after hacker groups like Anonymous and LulzSec took advantage of many corporate and government websites. Finding solutions has been a balancing act between protecting critical information on computers and protecting citizens from invasive monitoring.

Source: Reuters



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Bend over, here it comes again!
By OneArmedScissorB on 3/7/2012 1:10:04 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
However, an anonymous Senate aide said that neither bill will likely pass, and that a compromise is expected in the "coming weeks."


Oh joy, look at the two parties work together, getting things done!

...just like SOPA/PIPA.

Nothing good can come of this - except maybe if they screw with us enough, people will finally wake up and stop playing the partisanship game...




RE: Bend over, here it comes again!
By retrospooty on 3/8/2012 9:36:57 AM , Rating: 4
"except maybe if they screw with us enough, people will finally wake up and stop playing the partisanship game..."

That would be nive, but its not likely. They players in DC are very smart. They know how to take just enough to piss us off, but not enough to do anything about it. If it gets too hot, they lighten up and appease the dull masses. The goal is to keep everyone arguing, right v left, lib v con and ignoring the fact that they all (Reps and Dems) are selling us out on a daily basis.


RE: Bend over, here it comes again!
By WinstonSmith on 3/8/2012 11:26:39 AM , Rating: 2
I agree on the phony left vs. right, Rep vs. Dem game they play to pit us against each other and causes us to fail to analyze the actual performance of both parties and see that they're both bought and paid for scum, but what we see in ignorant bills like this is not just the ignorance of DC pols. It's self-serving legislation too often written by those who actually govern us, the moneyed interests who own the pols due to our totally dysfunctional election process where in 94% of elections the best funded candidate wins. Look deep into every bill and you'll see dollar signs for someone somewhere.


By retrospooty on 3/8/2012 11:49:48 AM , Rating: 2
"Look deep into every bill and you'll see dollar signs for someone somewhere."

Absolutely.

Both sides rob us blind and keep the masses arguing with each other.


"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton














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