Civil liberty groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, are preparing their own counteroffensive next week after Members return from the two-week recess.
“We think it unjustifiably turns the government loose to collect Americans’ Internet use data and it absolutely will violate Americans’ privacy, and there are a lot of common-sense limitations that could still be built into the bill if the sponsors so choose,” Michelle Richardson of the ACLU said.
She added that any legislation on cybersecurity needs to specify what kind of information may be shared and that civilian government employees, rather than military officials, should be the ones monitoring such information.
“Rogers’ bill says something that can be seen as a threat can be shared; that’s very broad,” she said.
Stakeholders from the telecom industry including AT&T and Verizon support Rogers’ bill, which does not impose new requirements on them. A host of other cyber measures, including one from Rep. Dan Lungren that would create a central agency in charge of monitoring online threats, are circulating. The California Republican’s bill will likely be considered by the full Homeland Security Committee next week.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.