A provision in the falsely-named “cyber security” bill currently being debated in congress would–in addition to enabling more warrantless government spying–create a gaping hole in the Freedom of Information Act, potentially allowing federal agencies to keep secret any information they don’t want made public. The new exemption to FOIA would cover all “information shared with or provided to the Federal Government” through the so-called “cyber security” information sharing program, Politico reports.
Senators Chuck Grassley and Pat Leahy have raised concerns about the provision. Politico quotes Grassley from a 2012 hearing on a similar proposal:
I have to say that I’m a bit surprised that some open government and privacy groups appear to be accepting the dramatic regulatory power that Homeland Security and Secretary Napolitano will have under the Lieberman-Collins’ cybersecurity bill and under President [Barack] Obama’s proposal. Given the FOIA scandal at Homeland Security, I’d have thought that they’d have more reservations.