Washington, D.C. – In a letter to Congress, TechAmerica’s President & CEO Shawn Osborne reaffirmed the organization’s support of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA) despite a sustained Denial-of-Service (DDOS) cyber-attack last week. The hacker group Anonymous claimed responsibility for the DDOS attack for supporting the legislation.
“TechAmerica supported H.R. 3523 when it was introduced, and we remain steadfast in our support of the bill and its goals. The inability to share information is one of the greatest challenges to collective efforts toward improving our cybersecurity, and we appreciate the efforts of you and your colleagues to remove those barriers in order to foster better information sharing between the government and the private sector. We also appreciate your ongoing consultation with us and other stakeholders to fine tune the legislation to explicitly protect privacy and civil liberties while providing liability and other protections for companies that voluntarily share information for the benefit of others in cyberspace.”
Mr. Osborne also addressed the inaccurate comparison of CISPA to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which TechAmerica did not support.
“CISPA is about collaborative information sharing to further cybersecurity and to protect entities and individuals, while SOPA sought to address the misuse of intellectual property such as creative content. TechAmerica is an avid proponent for intellectual property protection, but we opposed SOPA because it took extreme measures that would hamper Internet activity and freedom of expression and even expose the Internet to greater vulnerabilities. TechAmerica supports CISPA because it is completely voluntary and seeks to remove a significant barrier to information sharing to enable collaboration in defense against cyber-attacks like the one we, and so many others, experienced. We join you in working toward improving the public discourse on this issue so that is informed and accurate.”
Mr. Osborne also reiterated TechAmerica’s priority of sharing information.
“The private and public sectors need to work together to share information on the latest threats and defensive strategies. Unless there is cooperation between government and business, cyber-criminals will continue stealing money and cyber-spies will continue walking away with ideas and innovation,” he wrote.
With cybersecurity at the top of the agenda in the House for the next two weeks, TechAmerica has joined a broad coalition in advocating for improved information sharing and liability protection; enhanced cybersecurity R&D; FISMA reform; public education on the importance of cybersecurity; and greater public private collaboration. Led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the letter was signed by 25 of the country’s leading advocacy organizations.
TechAmerica outlined the membership’s top priorities for cybersecurity legislation in letter at the beginning of the year