More FOIA barriers considered

Related Links

Hill: Block FOIA

Industry and law enforcement officials spoke out Tuesday about one of the

biggest barriers they perceive to sharing information about security and

cyberattacks: the fear that any information turned over to a government

agency is open to the Freedom of Information Act.

The officials spoke before Sen. Jon Kyl's Senate Judiciary Committee's Technology,

Terrorism and Government Information Subcommittee. Kyl (R-Ariz.) is considering

legislation that would help persuade industry to share cyberattack information

with the government by shielding the data from FOIA requests, Kyl's staff

said.

Reps. Tom Davis (R-Va.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.) have said they will sponsor

a bill to exempt critical infrastructure-related information.

"Companies worry that if information sharing with government really becomes

a two-way street, FOIA requests for information they have provided to an

agency could prove embarrassing and probably costly," testified Harris Miller,

president of the Information Technology Association of America. "Many in

industry believe that freedom from FOIA concerns is the most formidable

obstacle and that an exemption for this type of information sharing is the

only option."

According to FBI director Louis Freeh, industry information obtained during

an investigation into a cyberattack would be afforded the same level of

protection against FOIA requests and the legal discovery process as any

grand jury testimony. The economic espionage statute also comes into play,

he said.

But at the same time, the FBI would support legislation to amend the act

to include the type of information industry is worried about. "I would certainly

tend to favor it in the limited area of trade secrets, intellectual property,"

Freeh said. "I would think that's a very fair and traditional area to carve

out protections for."

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.