Anonymous slams cyber threat-sharing bill

Hacking collective Anonymous is voicing opposition to a bill designed to enhance information-sharing about cyber threats between the government and the private sector.

The “bill before Congress would authorize secrecy and surveillance, not ‘cyber security,’ ” leading Anonymous Twitter feed @YourAnonNews posted Monday, linking to an op-ed critical of the measure.

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Separately, other Anonymous affiliates released a video slamming the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) as a threat to users’ privacy. They also circulated a petition against the bill, according to a report.

“The CISA directly attacks our Constitution,” a speaker in the video stated. “If this bill is passed, many of the privacies that we all enjoy on the Internet will be gone and forgotten.”

House lawmakers are preparing to vote on two cyber threat-sharing bills this week. Each would grant liability protections to companies when they share threat data with civilian government agencies.

Both measures appear to have strong chances of passing. The enactment of greater threat-sharing is a major priority for government and industry officials, who argue the process is crucial to fight hackers.

Privacy advocates maintain that the bills do not do enough to prevent the National Security Agency from using threat data for surveillance purposes.

@YourAnonNews also appears to have a problem with how CISA would handle Freedom of Information Act requests.

The bill approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee would exempt all threat-sharing data from FOIA and require all “threat indicators and defensive measures” to be withheld from the public, a problem for privacy groups.

The Anonymous Twitter feed linked to a piece that highlighted concerns about this change.

“The bill's apparent failure to grapple with actual online security issues while opening up more private information to government spooks has led critics including Senator Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: DHS gets new cyber chief | White House warns lawmakers not to block ZTE deal | White nationalists find home on Google Plus | Comcast outbids Disney for Fox | Anticipation builds for report on FBI Clinton probe Senate confirms Trump Homeland Security cyber pick Hillicon Valley: Judge approves AT&T-Time Warner deal in blow to DOJ | Dems renew push to secure state voting systems | Seattle reverses course on tax after Amazon backlash | Trump, senators headed for cyber clash | More Tesla layoffs MORE to call it ‘a surveillance bill by another name,’ ” read the post at PrivacySOS.org.

“Thanks to the FOIA exemption provision, we can now call it a ‘government surveillance and secrecy bill by another name.’ ”

The two House bills will receive votes Wednesday and Thursday, while observers expect the Senate to take it up its measure by the end of the month.