Join us in encouraging the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Representative Darrell Issa, to withdraw his co-sponsorship HR 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011, because it constitutes a wholesale attack on public access to information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). As the leader of the House committee with jurisdiction over FOIA and the co-Chair of the House Transparency Caucus, Chairman Issa has a responsibility to stand up against such an unwarranted expansion of the federal government's ability to keep secrets.
In the interest of encouraging private companies to share cybersecurity threat information, HR 3523 bill unwisely and unnecessarily cuts off all public access to cyber threat information before the public and Congress have the chance to understand the types of information that are withheld under the bill. The public may need access to some of the information shared under the bill in order to assess whether the government is adequately combating cybersecurity threats and, when necessary, hold officials accountable.
Chairman Issa should use his Committee's expertise in public access to information to help make sure any FOIA-related provision promotes transparency and public accountability while allowing the government to withhold only that information which truly requires protection.