The Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA) would undermine government transparency and increase intelligence agencies’ access to the public’s sensitive personal information, 34 openness and civil liberties groups said in a letter to members of the House of Representatives. The PCNA would categorically exempt government-provided information from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The legislation also authorizes agencies to use cyber threat information in Espionage Act cases, and leaving open the possibility that “cyber threat” information could be used to investigate whistleblowers.
Although the groups acknowledge HR 1560 includes several improvements over the bill’s Senate counterpart CISA, the PCNA would still increase government secrecy and potentially result in surveillance abuses. The full letter is available here.