Cybersecurity Act 2015: Obama to sign new cybersecurity law to allow information sharing between companies and government agencies
Dec 21, 2015 06:18 AM EST
U.S. President Barack Obama is set to sign a cybersecurity law later this week that's designed to enable companies to further protect the personal information of their customers. The bill, dubbed as Cybersecurity Act of 2015 or Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, was included in the new government spending budget passed by the Senate last week, NPR reported.
The bill, once signed by Obama, will allow companies to share information regarding their customers with online accounts to various government agencies including the Department of Defense and the National Security Agency. This will serve as a new step in the government's efforts in preventing hacking and online data theft.
Supporters of the bill, such as the Chamber of Commerce, noted that the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 will be a helpful tool in strengthening the computer networks of companies since they believe that hackers and other online criminals rely on the same formula for carrying out their cyber attacks on potential targets. Through open cooperation between the private business sector and public agencies, the government will be able to implement new measures to prevent these criminals from illegally accessing the company's networks, according to CNN.
Due to the nature of the bill, advocates of online privacy are lobbying against it. They argued that this law can be used by law enforcement agencies, such as the NSA, to freely spy on individuals without their consent.
Moreover, Zoe Lofgren, the democratic representative of California's 19th congressional district said that the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 was included in the new budget plan at the last minute. As a result, the Senate did not have enough time to discuss its contents.
"This so called 'cybersecurity legislation' was inserted into a must-pass Omnibus at the 11th hour, without debate," Lofgren said according to U.S. News. "The protective measures that such a bill should have - including those I believe the Constitution requires - were removed."
The new cybersecurity bill is expected to be signed by Obama within the next few days.