U.S. Senator Feinstein Pushes Cyber-Security Bill; Civil Liberties Activists Say It’s Flawed

SANTA CLARA (KCBS)— Senator Dianne Feinstein is urging Silicon Valley leaders to call their congressional representatives to express their support for her cyber-security bill, which is facing opposition from privacy advocates.

Sen. Feinstein, who is the Senate Intelligence Committee chair, attended this week’s Silicon Valley Leadership Group luncheon and called her Cyber Security Information Sharing Act a first step in protecting the country from cyber attacks.

The legislation passed in July, but has faced significant hurdles getting to the Senate floor.
“It provides legal authority for companies to share cyber-related information with other companies and the government and provides companies with liability protection for that sharing,” Feinstein said.

She added that the bill includes protections to ensure the companies don’t share customers’ private information with other companies or the government.

Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit focused on defending civil liberties, said the bill poses a “witches brew” of problems.

“It has very broad immunity clauses for companies it would be hard to sue somebody if they actually did share too much information,” he said.

Four previous versions of the bill have failed in the past four years.

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