Are Cybersecurity Stocks Moving On The Government Surveillance Expiration?
Over the weekend, the U.S. Senate failed to extend key provisions of the Patriot Act, which effectively ends portions of the National Security Agency's authorization to collect and analyze domestic phone calls.
That move clears the way for the Senate to act on the House of Representative's USA Freedom Act, which preserves other domestic surveillance programs, while overhauling the NSA's handling of Americans' calling records.
There is a belief in the Capitol that movement on the surveillance bill will help the prospects of another bill - focused on cybersecurity. In interviews with The Hill, multiple lobbyists familiar with the discussion speculated that the surveillance bill's passage would give way to the cyber bill being next on the agenda.
The bill in question is the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which would allow U.S. government agencies to share Internet traffic information and threats. The bill has been criticized by Internet privacy and civil liberties groups, including the ACLU.
That bill could support cybersecurity stocks, including Palo Alto Networks Inc (NYSE: PANW), FireEye Inc (NASDAQ: FEYE), and Cyberark Software Ltd (NASDAQ: CYBR). Over the past week, both FireEye and Palo Alto Networks have gained more than 4 percent versus an S&P 500 that declined 0.6 percent.
Year-to-date, those three cybersecurity stocks have performed well. FireEye has gained 48 percent; Palo Alto Networks is higher by 39 percent; and Cyberark gained 54 percent.
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