CISPA Passes the House


Despite a veto threat from the White House, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a bill that puts Internet privacy at risk:

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), H.R. 624, was approved in a 288-127 vote despite ongoing fears from some lawmakers and privacy advocates that the measure could give the government access to private information about consumers.

Ninety-two Democrats voted with Republicans in favor of the bill and just 29 Republicans opposed it. The bill secured enough votes to override a veto.

That’s greater support than last year, when a similar bill passed 248-168 with the support of 42 Democrats. Twenty-eight Republicans opposed that bill.

Click here to see how the representatives from your state voted.

While most agree that more needs to be done to protect the United States from hackers and other cyber threat, it needs to be done in a way that ensures Internet privacy. The bill, as currently, simply doesn’t go far enough to that end. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently noted that CISPA gives immunity to companies that improperly share data with the government.

An open letter from academics, engineers, and professionals to lawmakers noted that CISPA “uses vague language to describe network security attacks, threat indicators, and countermeasures, allowing for the possibility that innocuous online activities could be construed as ‘cybersecurity’ threats” and exempts certain laws that protect Internet privacy.

On Wednesday, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) offered amendments that would have strengthened Internet privacy, but they were voted down in the House Rules Committee. Based on the current version of CISPA, and the House Rules Committee’s vote, Internet service providers cannot guarantee or promise to protect your Internet privacy.

The fight now moves to the Senate, but it’s unclear if they’ll move on the bill. Either way, those of us concerned about Internet privacy need to start calling their Senators. Don’t want until the last minute.

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