The Switchboard: Meet CISA, the latest cybersecurity legislation privacy groups hate.


In this June 6, 2013, file photo, shows plaques outside the National Security Ageny (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Published every weekday, the Switchboard is your morning helping of hand-picked stories from The Switch team.

Privacy fight returns for cyber bill. Privacy watchdogs are up in arms about the latest legislative attempt providing a framework for cybsersecurity information sharing, Julian Hattem at the Hill reports. "The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) makes it possible for companies and government agencies to share information about possible hackers and security weaknesses with each other, which advocates say is critical to make sure that blind spots aren’t left untended for long." But privacy groups warn the bill goes too far, saying it doesn't include enough safeguards to protect civil liberties.

U.S. offered Berlin 'Five Eyes' pact. Merkel was done with it. Patrick Donahue and John Walcott at Bloomberg report that the German government refused an overture from the U.S. aimed at soothing spying concerns with greater intelligence sharing. "The goal was to assuage Merkel and prevent the expulsion of the Central Intelligence Agency’s chief of station in Berlin," they report. "It wasn’t enough."

How 160,000 intercepted communications led to our latest NSA story. Barton Gellman goes behind the scenes of the Washington Post's blockbuster story that revealed how "incidental collection" can result in the personal communications of ordinary Internet users being swept up in government data collection.

The FCC is overhauling how it subsidizes WiFi for schools and libraries. On Friday, regulators approved  federal aid package to help schools and libraries upgrade their WiFi networks, the Switch's Brian Fung reports. "In a 3-2 vote along party lines Friday, the FCC greenlit a plan to spend $2 billion over the next two years on subsidies for internal networks. The move also begins a process to phase out some subsidies under the federal program, known as E-Rate, for services and equipment that are on the decline, such as pagers and dial-up Internet service."

U.S. Accuses Chinese Executive of Hacking to Mine Military Data. Danny Yadron and Andrew Grossman at the Wall Street Journal report on the latest in the U.S.'s fight against alleged Chinese industrial espionage:  "The Justice Department has charged the owner of a Chinese aviation technology company with stealing reams of information from U.S. defense contractors about key American technology." Su Bin, a Chinese citizen living in Canada was arrested in June and is facing extradition to the U.S.. The recently unsealed charges allege Bin and two co-conspirators in China to broke into defense contractor computers to steal sensitive information about planes like Boeing's C-17 and Lockheed Martin's F-22 for profit.

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.
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