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For years, many in the cybersecurity world have been urging Congress to pass meaningful information sharing legislation. In recent months, Senators Burr and Feinstein have been working to get the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (S. 754) to the Senate floor for a vote. The bill brings into focus a crucial debate, trying to strike the correct balance between protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure against cyber threat and limiting access to consumers’ personal information. These matters should be aired and CISA deserves a vote.
It is in the best interest for our national and economic security and consumer protections to better enable government and industry to share threat information with each other in a targeted, technology neutral fashion, and on a voluntary basis. The private sector owns much of our nation’s critical infrastructure, while the government has significant threat intelligence data. The two must work together, without fear of litigation, to best protect our national and personal interests. Simply put, no one sector, organization or product can fight our cyber challenges alone. Industry and government must voluntarily work with each other and have the ability to share information in real time.
While there are legitimate privacy concerns to be had regarding the exchange of information and the scope of defensive measures protections, these concerns should be aired in an open and honest debate on the Senate floor. We cannot allow this and other cybersecurity legislation to continue to stall. The only way we will find a path forward is to have the tough conversations and take the tough votes on legislation that is needed to keep us secure. It is time that industry and government have the tools they need to effectively protect our critical infrastructure and personal information from those who endlessly seek to do harm to the U.S. Information sharing legislation is one of those tools and we urge the Senate to act promptly when they return from recess.