Cybersecurity

Our world runs on computers and the Internet. We use them for everything, from communicating with long-lost classmates to managing our bank accounts to buying anything from cars to diapers. The effort to keep these systems secure is known as cybersecurity. Unfortunately, all too often, simple, effective cybersecurity steps are not taken, like changing passwords routinely or updating and patching holes in software. Even when they are, sophisticated hackers can sometimes get around these defenses. The government is using this threat to try to expand its power and permit companies to funnel our sensitive, personal online information to it. Learn more >>

Ice Cream: Very, Very Good. Cybersecurity Bill: Not So Much

Ice Cream: Very, Very Good. Cybersecurity Bill: Not So Much

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 7:44pm
Today, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee held a hearing on S. 2105, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, sponsored by Sens. Lieberman, Collins, Rockefeller and Feinstein. Introduced earlier this week, this bill delivers the comprehensive reform that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats have been promising since last summer. We will blog a more thorough analysis tomorrow, but short story is that the bill is a mixed bag for civil liberties. The good news is that the bill does not include a kill switch; the bad is that it permits companies to share American internet use data with military agencies like the NSA. So color us shocked that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on the hearing record that the ACLU thinks the bill is "very, very good." Chocolate ice cream is very, very good. The complex, 205-page, ground-breaking rewrite of existing law — well, needs a few changes to really protect privacy. Check back soon for more information.
Thank You Mr. President – In Big Win for Privacy, Administration Issues CISPA Veto Threat!

Thank You Mr. President – In Big Win for Privacy, Administration Issues CISPA Veto Threat!

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:32pm

Over the last few months, more than 50,000 ACLU supporters signed our petition to the president urging him to veto CISPA if it made it to his desk. Not only did the president hear your calls – yesterday, he answered them with a resounding win for…

CISPA: It Ain't Cyber-Pretty

CISPA: It Ain't Cyber-Pretty

By Zachary Katznelson, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 12:38pm

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives is scheduled to begin debating the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, authored by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.). In the name of cybersecurity, the legislation threatens…

Kicking off "Stop Cyber Spying Week"

Kicking off "Stop Cyber Spying Week"

By Mandy Simon at 12:00pm

Today we're launching a weeklong campaign called "Stop Cyber Spying Week" to draw attention to the massive civil liberties problems in H.R. 3523, better known as CISPA.

Smashing Success: Thousands of ACLU Supporters Petition President to Veto CISPA, Get Full Page Ad in Politico

Smashing Success: Thousands of ACLU Supporters Petition President to Veto CISPA, Get Full Page Ad in Politico

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Kaitlyn Newman, Campaigner, ACLU Action at 5:14pm

You did it! In the two months since Reps. Rogers (R-Mich.) and Ruppersberger (D-Md.) reintroduced their privacy-busting bill CISPA, 49,513 (and counting) ACLU supporters signed one of our biggest petitions of all time, urging President Obama to protect…

Data Breach Raises Questions About NASA Policy At Issue in Recent Supreme Court Case

Data Breach Raises Questions About NASA Policy At Issue in Recent Supreme Court Case

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:35pm

We hate to say “I told you so.”

In 2010, the Supreme Court heard a case called NASA v. Nelson, which involved the government’s right to carry out highly intrusive background checks. NASA decided to require its employees—many…

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (10/5/12)

Civil Liberties in the Digital Age: Weekly Highlights (10/5/12)

By Anna Salem, ACLU of Northern California at 3:50pm

In the digital age that we live in today, we are constantly exposing our personal information online. From using cell phones and GPS devices to online shopping and sending e-mail, the things we do and say online leave behind ever-growing trails of…

Senate Votes Down Improved Cybersecurity Bill

Senate Votes Down Improved Cybersecurity Bill

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:12pm

This morning, the Senate voted against moving forward on cybersecurity legislation, ending the bill’s chances at final passage.

As we told you earlier this week, the Senate version of the cybersecurity bill (S. 3414, the Cybersecurity…

Sen. Franken To File Crucial Amendment to Cyber Bill

Sen. Franken To File Crucial Amendment to Cyber Bill

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:28pm

Last week, we gave you a quick rundown of the new privacy additions to S. 3414, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012.  Also known as the Lieberman-Collins bill, this legislation provides comprehensive cybersecurity reform. 

Read More»
New Senate Cyber Bill No Better Than Last Version

New Senate Cyber Bill No Better Than Last Version

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:41pm

Yesterday, Republican Senators introduced a rewrite of their cybersecurity bill, known as SECURE IT. Advocates registered their opposition to the bill last month and its CISPA-like expansion of military authority to collect sensitive information…

Statistics image