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.  

Some in the government want to give the National Security Agency, a division of the Defense Department, and the largest and most powerful spy agency in the world, the power to collect Internet use records. Under such a scheme, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook and every other company that operates on the Internet could share our private information with the military for cybersecurity purposes.  Once the government has its hands on the information, there might not be meaningful limits to how it could be used, how long the government could keep the information, or with whom it could share the information.  All existing privacy protections would be swept aside in the name of cybersecurity, opening up medical records, private emails, financial information – anything – to prying military eyes.  In the name of cybersecurity, the NSA would be able to compile massive quantities of private data, even about people with nothing to do with any wrongdoing.  All without a warrant, proper oversight or reasonable limits. 

The ACLU is pushing back against proposals that threaten to do an end run on our hard-won privacy protections.  Cybersecurity is important, but it cannot justify the military barging into the civilian realm and trampling on our rights.



All cybersecurity blog posts


Broad Coalition Opposes the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2014

Extended Comparison of Cybersecurity Information Sharing Legislation

ACLU Letter to House Members Urging "No" Vote on CISPA - April 15, 2013

Coalition Letter Urging House Opposition to CISPA - April 15, 2013

Coalition Letter to White House Urging Veto of CISPA - March 19, 2013

Coalition Letter Urging “No” Vote on CISPA (H.R. 624) - March 11, 2013

ACLU’s Statement before House Homeland Security Committee on DHS Cybersecurity

ACLU Interested Persons Memo on Cybersecurity Information Sharing Legislation and Privacy Implications in 112th Congress

ACLU One Pager on Information Sharing in Cybersecurity

Coalition Letter to the House Strongly Urging a "No" Vote on Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)

Updated ACLU Letter to the House Urging Opposition to Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)

ACLU Op-ed on CISPA in The Hill

Coalition Letter to the Senate Expressing Deep Concerns with the S. 2105, the Cyber Security Act of 2012

Coalition Letter Oppositing Anti-Privacy Cybersecurity Amendments to S. 3414, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012

Coalition Letter Opposing Criminalizing Terms of Service Violations in Senate Cybersecurity Bill

Statistics image