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Cyber Bill Foes Fight Its Addition to Budget Bill

On reports that the Cybersecurity Sharing Act of 2015 is being added to the omnibus must-pass budget bill being hammered out this week in Congress in advance of another government shutdown deadline, Fight for the Future is fighting to have it excised.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association backs the bill, which it calls a safeguard, not surveillance. Financial companies launched a campaign backing the bill.

But many computer companies are critical of the bill, including Mozilla, Microsoft and Apple.

Unlike the network neutrality-blocking riders that the White House considers poison pills on the bill, the CISA legislation has bipartisan support, including from the Administration, and would be a harder amendment to derail.

CISA would allow businesses to share cyber threat information with each other, with the government, and for the government to share information about those threats and how to defend against them, with businesses, all in as close to real time as possible. It would provide liability protection for inadvertent over-sharing of personal information.

The problem is the growing number of attacks on business and government and the need to flag those and share ways to stop them in as close to real time as possible.

But Fight for the Future's problem with the bill is that it says the legislation has been gutted of privacy protections. It has launched, trying to get the President to add CISA to the poison pills that could prompt him to veto the budget bill.

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.