Ahead of CISA, privacy advocates score lawmakers

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With the Senate poised to take up the controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, privacy campaigners unveiled a new scorecard that grades members of Congress by their past votes on and sponsorship of surveillance legislation.

The Web-based scorecard, produced by nonprofits Restore the Fourth and Fight for the Future, lets users search for members by state. Lawmakers earn letter grades based on their voting records on the USA Freedom Act, the FISA Reform Act and other pieces of legislation.

Of the 535 members of Congress evaluated, 24 senators got “A” grades and 35 got “Fs,” while 173 representatives got “As” and 10 got “Fs,” according to the groups’ release.

If passed, CISA would give legal immunity to companies that share cyberthreat information with the government and with each other. Privacy groups have worried that it would give companies a carte blanche to turn over user data to the NSA.

“There’s been a huge uptick of resistance to this type of bad cybersecurity legislation in the past few months,” Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, told FedScoop.

Indeed, Greer’s organization has been turning up the heat on supporters of CISA. Last week, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff took to Twitter to walk back from a letter his company signed encouraging Congress to take up “cyberthreat information sharing legislation.” While the letter didn’t express support for CISA specifically, Fight for the Future had launched a campaign against the letters’ signatories.

Two companion bills have already passed the full House, but CISA has languished in the Senate, where an effort to push it through just before the long summer recess stalled.

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Congress, Cybersecurity, Government IT News, Tech
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