Chamber backs Senate cyber bill

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is pressuring the Senate to take up and “expeditiously” pass a Senate cybersecurity bill that would encourage companies to share information about cyber threats with each other and the federal government.

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act “would strengthen the protection and resilience of businesses’ information networks and systems against increasingly sophisticated and malicious actors,” the Chamber said in a letter Monday.

The bill — from Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDHS chief takes heat over Trump furor NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Democrats will need to explain if they shut government down over illegal immigration MORE (D-Calif.) and Vice-chairman Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissLobbying World Former GOP senator: Let Dems engage on healthcare bill OPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party MORE (R-Ga.) — passed through the Intelligence Committee earlier this month by a 12-3 vote.

The group praised the bill’s protections for companies that share information about cyber threats.

It’s “targeted protections — including limited liability, disclosure, regulation, and antitrust — should constructively influence businesses’ decisions to share cyber threat data and countermeasures more quickly and frequently,” the letter said.

That bill has faced backlash from privacy advocates, who warn that it would let government agencies, including the National Security Agency, share and use information without adequate restraints and say it would give private companies too much leeway in identifying and responding to cyber threats.

The bill’s opponents include Senate Intelligence Committee members Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenWeek ahead: Senate takes up surveillance bill This week: Time running out for Congress to avoid shutdown Senate Finance Dems want more transparency on trade from Trump MORE (D-Ore.) and Mark UdallMark Emery UdallDemocratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Gorsuch's critics, running out of arguments, falsely scream 'sexist' MORE (D-Colo.), who both warned of the bill’s consequences for privacy and civil liberties.

Sen. Jay RockefellerJohn (Jay) Davison RockefellerOvernight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term Obama to preserve torture report in presidential papers MORE (D-W.Va.) also expressed concerns about the bill’s affect on privacy.

“I felt it was more of a compromise than it needed to be,” he said off the Senate floor last week.