New Cybersecurity Bill Poses Massive Threat to Openness – June 24, 2014 Newsletter

– Brief Updates on Coalition Partners & Others (more)
– Cybersecurity Bill to Be Marked Up Includes New FOIA Exemption & Tie to Espionage Act (more)

News from Coalition Partners & Others


Sunlight Simplifies Communications with Congress

The Sunlight Foundation expanded its OpenCongress tool to break down more barriers between the public and their representatives. Many Members of Congress wall off their web contact forms by requiring users to fill out zip code requirements and to decipher captchas. Now, direct emails are available through legislators’ OpenCongress pages. Learn more here.

CREW Calls for Congressional Investigation of Federal Record-Keeping

Deficient record keeping laws are an impediment to congressional oversight, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said in a letter to Congress last week. CREW requested that the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform conduct a review of federal records management practices and to consider legislative action.

Stand with POGO to Protect VA Whistleblowers

Sign the petition today to urge the Veterans Affairs Inspector General (IG) to drop its demand that the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) turn over the names of VA whistleblowers. The petition makes it clear that while POGO and their allies support the IG’s efforts to root out mismanagement and corruption at the VA, the subpoena for POGO’s records goes too far.

Groups Urge White House to End Bulk Telephony Metadata Program

Twenty-six groups joined the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) to urge President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to not renew the Section 215 Bulk Telephony Metadata Program. The groups argue that the program is not only ineffective but is also “unconstitutional and violates the plain text of Section 215 and the purpose of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”

Cybersecurity Bill to Be Marked Up Includes New FOIA Exemption & Tie to Espionage Act

A cybersecurity bill from the leadership of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) is scheduled for markup on Thursday. In addition to a number of other provisions, it would: create a new Exemption (#10) to the FOIA for “information shared with or provided to the Federal Government pursuant to” the Act; and allow the use of voluntary disclosures from private parties by any entity of the government to “prevent, investigate, or prosecute” Espionage Act offenses.

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