Obama to sign cybersecurity bill as privacy advocates fume

Jeffrey Cullen

As of December 2015, President Barack Obama was prepared to sign a new bill pertaining to cybersecurity based upon the increased cyber attacks. It has been observed that many cyber attackers use the same strategies on subsequent attacks.[1] This bill is designed to allow companies to legally share with each other and the government data about the cyberattacks they experience to enhance their ability to prevent attacks in the future. Companies would be protected by law in sharing these communications.

Privacy advocates have criticized this new bill. These advocates are concerned that the bill serves to expand surveillance on the population and deteriorates peoples’ right to privacy. Companies may turn over information that is intimate in detail under the veil of what is considered to be pertinent to cybersecurity, which is broad.[2] Senator Ron Ryden was quoted in the article saying that Americans are entitled to policies that protect both their security and their liberty and that this bill fails in both areas. Is this bill the most effective way to counteract cyber attacks? If this bill goes forward, should the definition of what is pertinent to cybersecurity be narrowed in order to protect consumers’ information?


[1] Tal Kopan, Obama to sign cybersecurity bill as privacy advocates fume, CNN (Dec. 18, 2015). http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/18/politics/cybersecurity-house-senate-omnibus/index.html

[2] Id.