Cybersecurity

Amash bill would repeal new cybersecurity law

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) on Wednesday introduced a bill to repeal a major cybersecurity bill signed into law just weeks ago.

In a statement, the libertarian lawmaker called it “the worst anti-privacy law since the USA Patriot Act.”

{mosads}Passed in December as part of the $1.1 trillion government spending bill, the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 gives businesses legal protections to encourage them to share more data on hacking threats with the government.

Proponents — including the White House — argue the measure is needed to better understand and thwart the cyberattacks plaguing the public and private sectors. But privacy advocates and many tech companies say the bill will merely shuttle more private data on Americans to intelligence agencies.

Detractors also take issue with the final negotiations that merged the House and Senate bills. Lawmakers combined the bills through unofficial meetings instead of the traditional conference process.

Several House lawmakers have said they were forced into this process by senators who refused to appoint people to an official conference in an effort to stall the negotiations.

“The Cybersecurity Act was negotiated in secret by just a few members of Congress and added quietly to the 2,009-page omnibus to avoid scrutiny,” said Amash. “Most representatives are probably unaware they even voted on this legislation.”

“We should repeal it as soon as possible,” he added.

Joining Amash’s effort is a bipartisan group of privacy-minded and civil liberties-focused co-sponsors including Reps. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.).

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