Recently, the Federal government announced that cyber threats were the most dangerous threats to the security of our nation – even more so than terrorism. This statement should not come as too much of a surprise especially after large scale cyber attacks that occurred to several private companies in the United States within recent months. To help combat, a new bipartisan bill has been offered by leaders of the House Intelligence Committee. The bill is being provided in an attempt to make it easier for companies who have experienced cyber-threats to share their newfound information with the government to help prevent further attacks.
The bill promises to both protect civil liberties while helping the government be prepared to combat against hackers. The bill does not allow for the National Security Agency, the Department of Defense, or any other agency that is a part of the intelligence community to target a person for surveillance. The idea of the bill is not to take away civil liberties, but instead, it is to ensure that government agencies will have more knowledge as to how hacks occurred so that may be able to prevent future ones from happening. It is essential to know how to protect yourself from cyber attacks. Private companies who have experienced threats of an attack or an actual attack would be able to report these findings to civilian agencies as opposed to directly to government agencies. However, once the information is with private agencies, any information acquired can then be shared with the government. In the past, businesses have been reluctant to share information regarding cyberattacks to the government for fear of consumers suing them. However, the bill offers some protection to companies from lawsuits that may arise. This is all to have the government access more information about the type of hacks that are occurring. With more information, they can presumably be more prepared for a future attack. The bill may reach the House floor sometime in April.