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CISA Moves Toward Vote

A group of anti-CISA activists gathered outside the Capitol Thursday night to register their disaffection with the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, a bipartisan bill that would allow the sharing of cyber threat information among businesses and government, and provide liability protection for inadvertent over-sharing of personal information.

While they may have been literally making light of the bill (see picture, courtesy of Fight for the Future), they have serious concerns with what they argue is its surveillance in cybersecurity clothing.

“The U.S. government’s deplorable surveillance programs and pathetic cybersecurity have already severely damaged the public’s trust in tech companies and their members of Congress,” said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future. “If they choose to ignore the blatantly overwhelming opposition to this bill and pass it anyway, that damage could become irreparable."

Many computer companies are also critical of the bill, including Mozilla, Microsoft and Apple.

The Senate began debating amendments to the bill Thursday and is expected to vote on it, and likely pass it, early next week.

A managers amendment was introduced with some 20 changes its backers said should make it more palatable to its critics, but not the two dozen or so taking to the Hill, according to Greer, who said it was not meant to be a mass rally, but rather a "light brigade" (his pun) sign-holding moment.

"The managers amendment is abysmal," he told B&C/Multichannel News. "Most of the privacy related amendments have been watered down beyond recognition. CISA is based on faulty logic to begin with, there is no fixing it."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.