Just a couple of years ago a bill was passed in the U.S. Senate infamously known as CISA (Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act). Even to this day, there is a lot of debate going on about whether this federal law was designed to serve the purpose of cyber security (as was stated), or was it just another measure, out of many, that the government took in order to enhance its surveillance strategy.
In this day and age, there is an increased need for cyber protection. We are all connected, day in and day out. Our mobile phones and computers are packed with a ton of personal information that we wouldn’t like to share even with our parents. It is a highly digital era we are living in. Even though it may look like we have become stronger and smarter due to the technological advancement in recent years that allows us to communicate more, share an astounding amount of information, commerce, etc. However, we are now probably more vulnerable than ever (privacy-wise). Therefore, cyber security has gained a lot of attention in recent years, and rightfully so, because of the massive amount of cyber incidents that happen on a regular basis.
The theory behind CISA is that people will share more, do more and know what the threats are, if the obstacles to sharing information was to be removed.
CISA’s purpose is to stimulate companies to share their information with the government about potential cyber threats. Now, sharing your information is not to be taken lightly, because surely, this would imply sharing a lot of information that are of private nature. Additionally, those companies possess information about their customers which could also end up being divulged without the consent of the customers themselves. Never mind you would say, we can sue. That is the problem, you can’t. CISA actually gives immunity to every company that decides to share information, therefore no legal proceedings can follow their act.
Let’s see what does cyber law actually mean. It’s a law that governs cyber space. This basically means that the cyber law deals with cyber crimes, intellectual property, data protection and privacy, among others. These laws are of crucial significance nowadays when most of our payments are done online or by a credit card. Keep in mind that, since we have become a highly digitalized society, most of our data is kept in electric form, primarily talking about governments. Cyber security has the job of protecting that important and personal information from cyber intrusion.
Having said all that, how does CISA promise an improvement in security? Every single company that decides to share their information with the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) has to be aware that all of that information will suddenly become available to the NSA, FBI and the CIA. So, did CISA mention even once, how is the government going to keep all of that information secure from intrusions? Cyber security law has to clearly state the necessary measures which will, when implemented, lead to an increase in security. What about encryption? Doesn’t get a saying.
If you want to make a comparison, go ahead and do a little bit of research on China’s new cybersecurity law. It’s important to have legislations and policies that regulate those key instances of cyberspace. Cybersecurity products should always have to pass the security certification before being sold. Every single piece of personal information or important data that is collected on the soil of a particular country, should be stored in that particular country.
If you were to step back and objectively assess the situation, it appears that the only logical conclusion would be that this federal law has nothing to do with cyber security. So, if you were to ask the question “Is it going to make us safer”?, the answer would probably be, no, not exactly. It seems like this is a perfect example of how you can democratically violate the right to privacy, without anyone having to be held accountable. It really is an amazing paradox that governments are always ready to work behind our backs, but we are the ones being denied even the simplest right of having our own privacy.
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