Improving Technical Security 7 May 2012

The Internet Society Expresses Concern About Cybersecurity Legislation Currently Under Consideration in the United States


The Internet Society (ISOC) is concerned about cybersecurity legislation currently under consideration in the United States.  The proposed Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) was passed last week by the House of Representatives and cybersecurity legislation may go to the Senate floor this month. CISPA aims to provide more effective channels of communication across different federal agencies and private entities in relation to online threats.

While the Internet Society recognizes the need for national security, it is concerned about the potentially broad scope of CISPA and the consequent impact this legislation might have on users’ rights, especially in relation to online privacy. We are also concerned that the draft bill might bypass existing legal and private contractual obligations to protect Internet users’ privacy, and lacks judicial oversight. Furthermore, placing burdensome security roles on intermediaries may, as an unintended consequence, have a negative impact on innovation, service delivery, and, ultimately, future investment and economic growth.

Lastly, we are also concerned that the United States, given its leadership role in Internet technology, may give the wrong signal to other governments and invite them to adopt measures or pass legislation that could harm the open and free Internet.

The Internet Society expresses its hope that the U.S. Senate will address privacy considerations and protect citizens’ rights and civil liberties in any future cybersecurity legislation.

Media contact: Wende Cover, [email protected], +1-703-439-2773

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