March 7, 2012
A cybersecurity bill introduced by Republican Senator John McCain could dramatically expand the domestic reach of U.S. intelligence agencies and potentially give them massive troves of emails, civil liberties advocates said.
“This is a privacy nightmare that will eventually result in the military substantially monitoring the domestic, civilian Internet,” said Michelle Richardson of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Unlike the Democratic-led alternative supported by Majority Leader Harry Reid, the McCain bill stresses voluntary information sharing instead of regulation of critical industries by the Department of Homeland Security. McCain’s bill was introduced last week.
But the types of information that could be shared are broad, and the data would go to “cybersecurity centers” that specifically include the National Security Agency’s Threat Operations Center and the U.S. Cyber Command Joint Operations Center.