WASHINGTON, D.C. — Underscoring the dangers of a bill that would seriously threaten privacy and civil liberties, Sari Feldman, president of the American Library Association (ALA) urged members of the U.S. Senate to join Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in opposing the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (S.754).
“When librarians oppose a bill with ‘information sharing’ in its name you can be sure that the bill is decidedly more than advertised. In fact, as Sens. Wyden, Paul and Sanders have courageously pointed out in opposition to it, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act would dramatically over-share the personal information of tens of millions of Americans who depend upon library computer networks, and could function, as a practical matter, as a new warrantless surveillance tool. ALA calls on all Senators to stand with Mr. Wyden, Mr. Paul and Mr. Sanders in keeping this privacy-hostile bill from the Senate floor until it is critically reformed.”
ALA is concerned that not only will CISA not be effective in thwarting cyberattacks, but it de facto grants broad new mass data collection powers to many federal, as well as state and even local government agencies. Leading security experts argue that CISA actually won’t do much, if anything, to prevent future large-scale data breaches such as the federal government has already suffered, but many worry it could make things worse, by creating incentives for private companies and the government to widely share huge amounts of Americans’ personally identifiable information that will itself then be vulnerable to sophisticated hacking attacks.
In a letter earlier this year, ALA joined with civil society organizations, security experts and academics in urging all Senators to oppose CISA.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 55,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.