Watchdog and online advocacy group the Center for Democracy and Technology says that the new cyber security bill makes its way through Congress is so badly written that it effectively authorize hacking.
In a call with reporters (as reported by PC Mag) the CDT's senior counsel said that a provision allowing for cyber-security providers to "use cyber-security systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information to protect the rights and property of such self-protected entity" basically legalizes hacking.
"What the bill does not say is that in looking for cyber-threat information, you can examine only your own network. If you think the threat is on somebody else's computer, you have the authority ... to go get it," said Greg Nojeim, CDT's senior counsel. "It authorizes cyber-security criminal acts that are described in this very bill. The last place one would think you'd find new authority to hack would be in cyber-security legislation."
A spokeswoman for CISPA author Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) said the congressman and the committee in charge of the legislation have been working hard at addressing critics' concerns. Rogers is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
"For 18 months the Committee has been in regular discussions with privacy groups listening to their concerns and getting their ideas," she said. "During last year's committee markup and open House floor process we incorporated several of their suggestions to tightening up the bill to further cement already robust privacy protections. As we move through this year's committee and House floor process, Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger are fully committed to continuing that ongoing dialogue and incorporating language into the bill which further puts to rest any misunderstandings about the bill's intent."
While the CDT may have mentioned hacking being authorized in a bill that is supposed to be fighting hacking to illustrate the irony of the way the bill is written, he saved most of his comments for information-sharing provisions in the bill.
We will continue to follow this story as it develops. Expect to hear a lot of talk about CISPA leading up to lawmakers taking up the bill next week.
Source: PC Mag