OTG Responds to Cybersecurity Bill in the Washington Post

On July 20th, the Washington Post published Executive Director Patrice McDermott’s letter to the editor, responding to a July 13th Post editorial. The editorial urged Congress to address privacy concerns in the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) and pass cybersecurity legislation. The editorial board failed to note severe flaws in CISA that 30 groups highlighted in a letter to the President shortly after the closed markup by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Dr. McDermott noted that the bill presents a threat to journalists and whistleblowers, as it authorizes the government to use the information shared with the government in investigations and prosecutions unrelated to cybersecurity. CISA also creates, for the first time in decades, a new exemption from the Freedom of Information Act, which could prevent the public from learning both about private companies’ failure to protect their privacy and how the government uses the information it receives.

Dr. McDermott’s bottom line: “The Senate should pass cybersecurity legislation — but not this bill.” Read the letter here.

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