October 22, 2015

CISA clears Senate procedural hurdle

The Senate invoked cloture on a manager's amendment Thursday on the NAFCU-backed S. 754, the "Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act" (CISA), which sets the stage for the Senate to complete its work on the measure next week.

Sponsored by Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the bill aims to bring greater security for financial data through faster, more efficient sharing of cyber-threat information among the business and government sectors.

The Senate began considering amendments to the bill Thursday. Among these was an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. Opposed by NAFCU and later voted down, the measure would have made companies liable for inadvertent violations of terms of service or privacy agreements. NAFCU lodged its opposition in a letter sent jointly with other financial industry trades.

NAFCU also signed on to a joint letter with three other financial trades to raise concerns about other proposed amendments, including those introduced by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Al Franken, D-Minn., Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., regarding the definition of a cyber threats, how long the measure would be in effect, and other aspects of the bill. The trades argue that the amendments would create ambiguities and complications in the bill's language and otherwise undermine the measure.

"As nation-states, organized crime syndicates and lone actors continue to sharpen their abilities to attack American businesses and consumers, Congress needs to arm businesses with the tools necessary to protect consumers to the best of our abilities," the signers wrote. "The underlying legislation achieves that goal by allowing for collaboration between the private and public sector. If enacted, S. 754 enhances our ability to protect the sensitive data of hundreds of millions of Americans."

Other signers to the letter included the Consumer Bankers Association, CUNA and the Independent Community Bankers of America.