As controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) advanced through the Senate on Thursday, a video has surfaced showing Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz saying he has never read it.
The bill, which would allow computer data to be shared between private companies and the government to help prevent cyber attacks, has been condemned by major privacy advocates. A video posted Wednesday by policy platform site Internet 2016 shows Ted Cruz responding to a voter's concerns about CISA at a town hall meeting in Iowa on October 15.
"I will confess that is not a bill I have studied, I am happy to have our team look at that and examine it, but it's not an issue I've studied," he said. "I am very concerned by the big data approach by the federal government across the board … so that is an issue I've got concerns with across the board but I haven't examined that particular bill."
The bill would allow troves of citizen data to be passed to the government in real time, and exempts companies from being sued if they overstep and share the wrong information. It has been slammed by major websites including Yelp, Reddit, and Wikipedia as well as the Computer and Communications Industry Coalition (CCIA) an organization representing companies including Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Amazon. The Department of Homeland Security also opposes the bill, condemning the sharing of information between agencies.
We have reached out to a Cruz representative to see if the candidate has had time to familiarize himself with the bill since then. We will update this story if we hear back.
Watch the full video on Facebook.