ICYMI: “Proposed Tech-Industry Legislation Would Hurt National Security”

Washington, D.C. (06/28/2022) – A new opinion piece in Defense One by James R. Clapper, former director of national intelligence in the Obama administration, outlines how the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), would weaken U.S. national security and explains how the updated version of the bill fails to address any of the national security concerns.   

…Recently the Senate revised its bill; the new version acknowledges—but fails to address—any of the national security concerns raised in our open letter, or reservations expressed by bi-partisan members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the lone public hearing on this legislation last January. This legislation has at least three serious flaws.

…First, the bill still fails to address the major issue we wrote about in our letter: giving “unfettered” access to the hardware and software of American technology companies which could result in major cyber threats, misinformation, access to data of U.S. persons, and intellectual property theft.

…Second, certain provisions of this proposed legislation could force tech companies to break apart integrated security tools currently embedded in device and platform operating systems to screen for spyware and malware.

…​​Third, the amended Senate bill requires tech companies to allow every application—including those from abroad—to interoperate with their own platforms, except where doing so would cause a “significant cybersecurity risk.” The bill, however, doesn’t define what the threshold is for such a risk.

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