RTDNA opposes language in cybersecurity bill

December 15, 2015 03:15

The Sunshine in Government Initiative (SGI), of which RTDNA is a member, delivered a letter to the House and Senate leadership in Washington today, opposing proposed changes in legislation that would prevent access by the public to analysis of security threats shared by state and local governments, whether classified or not, calling it "too broad and entirely unnecessary."

Different versions of the bill, without the change in language opposed by the SGI, have already passed the House (along with a related bill in the House) and Senate, which has put the matter in the hands of a conference committee. Although a draft of the revised legislation has not been publicly released, the SGI understands that it contains language to prohibit the release of information about how cybersecurity threats are assessed, leaving the public no way to evaluate the effectiveness of government security efforts. The letter points out the Freedom of Information Act already exempts information that would impede law enforcement investigations, threaten personal privacy, national security or expose trade secrets.

The SGI adds that such legislation would hinder responses to threats and compound cybersecurity problems, and concludes that changing the legislation without public debate would be a mistake.

See the full letter here.