The Strategist

The US Are Enhancing Their Cybersecurity

10/28/2015 - 15:02

The US Senate approved a resonance bill on cybersecurity (Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, CISA), what caused criticism of a number of Internet giants - in particular, Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft. The document provides additional protection to companies, which voluntarily decided to share data on cyber threats to government agencies. Opponents of the law argue that it can be used for illicit spread of personal information.

74 senators voted for the adoption of CISA, against - 21. The document spelled out the procedure of cooperation between private companies and government agencies in the field of information security. In particular, the bill is intended to protect representatives of business from possible lawsuits by users, if information about cyber threats, transferred to the authorities, contains users personal data.

Now the bill, prepared by Senators Richard Burr and Diane Feinstein, must undergo the procedure of matching two similar documents, which previously have been considered the House of Representatives. After developing a compromise, both houses of Congress will hold the final vote.

According to leader of the Democratic minority in the Senate Harry Reid, the initiative is designed to exclude the possibility that the "cyber-terrorists bring the United States to knees". "Imagine the consequences of such an attack: massive blackouts, phone and internet cut down, overworked Emergency professionals, chaos in infrastructure systems", - he said.

US officials have noted that the problem of information security has become particularly relevant in recent years. Among other things, we are talking about the recent cyber attacks against Sony Pictures, in which the company accused the DPRK, as well as the frequent attempts to steal sensitive information from the server state agencies. Most often, , Washington lays responsibility for these efforts on Chinese and Russian hackers.

However, not everyone in the US support CISA. Against it are the proponents of limited government control over the activity in the cyber environment. They won in June, having achieved a restriction of the rights of special services to collect and store personal data in the telecommunications sector. The adoption of the CISA can be considered their defeat. Activists point out that the vote had not taken into account amendments which would help to prevent undesirable leakage of personal data.

- This law radically change the relationship between users and companies. It undermines the foundations of trust in the Internet, which consist in the fact that companies primarily work with people, not with the government, - said on Monday Edward Snowden, a former employee of the National Security Agency US, who previously revealed information about the surveillance of US intelligence for information communication between citizens of many countries.

The largest American companies in the field of IT technologies are against the law act, too. "The trust of our clients means all for us. We do not think that security should be ensured by the violation of their privacy,"- said earlier an Apple representative. Similar position is held by others - Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Dropbox.

however, supporters of the initiative are retorting: each company itself has the right to decide whether to share data with the US government. "You do not have to do this if you do not like the law - said Senator Diane Feinstein. - There are hundreds if not thousands of companies who want to participate in this initiative."