The controversial CISPA (Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act) has been passed by the US House of Representatives.
CISPA is designed to help combat cyberthreats by making it easier for law enforcers to get at web data.
This is the second time CISPA has been passed by the House. Senators threw out the first draft, saying it did not do enough to protect privacy.
CISPA could fail again in the Senate after threats from President Obama to veto it over privacy concerns.
A substantial majority of politicians in the House backed the bill.
The controversial CISPA has been passed by the US House of Representatives
The law is passing through the US legislative system as American federal agencies warn that malicious hackers, motivated by money or acting on behalf of foreign governments, such as China, are one of the biggest threats facing the nation.
“If you want to take a shot across China’s bow, this is the answer,” said Mike Rogers, the Republican politician who co-wrote CISPA and chairs the House Intelligence Committee.
CISPA has also secured the backing of several technology firms, including the CTIA wireless industry group, as well as the TechNet computer industry lobby group, which has Google, Apple and Yahoo as members. By contrast, the social news website Reddit has been vocal in its opposition to the bill. In March, Facebook said it no longer supported CISPA.
The bill could fail again in the Senate after the Obama administration’s threat to use its veto unless changes were made. The White House wants amendments so more is done to ensure the minimum amount of data is handed over in investigations.
The American Civil Liberties Union has also opposed CISPA, saying the bill was “fatally flawed”. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Reporters Without Borders and the American Library Association have all voiced similar worries.
CISPA’s authors say existing amendments have addressed many of the criticisms and more oversight was being given to data before it was handed over.
The White House has threatened to veto the controversial Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) due to go before the House of Representatives this week.
The US government wants more privacy protections in the CISPA.
After failing to pass through the Senate last year, the bill has already had several amendments.
Intended to protect corporate networks from cyber-attacks, CISPA allows private companies to share cybersecurity information with government agencies.
Opponents say that this is creating a backdoor for governments to snoop on individuals’ data, a point taken on board by the government.
A White House statement said: “The administration remains concerned that the bill does not require private entities to take reasonable steps to remove irrelevant personal information when sending cybersecurity data to the government or other private sector entities.”
The White House has threatened to veto the controversial CISPA due to go before the House of Representatives this week
Despite this, CISPA has found many friends including large technology firms such as AT&T, Comcast, Intel and Oracle.
This week IBM has sent 200 executives to Washington to lobby for the bill.
In a statement the firm said: “IBM believes we can build stronger, more efficient defences against cyber-threats by enabling better information sharing and providing clear authority for the private sector to defend its own networks, as proposed in the Cybersecurity Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).”
But opponents remain concerned the bill allows a wide range of data to be shared with government. Last month a petition with 100,000 signatures was submitted to the White House.
Opposition has been particularly vocal from privacy groups, with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) describing the latest iteration of the bill as “fatally flawed”.
CISPA’s sponsor, Republican Mike Rogers, caused anger on Twitter when he suggested in a speech that the typical opponent of the bill was “a 14-year-old tweeter in the basement”.
Right now, the US is poised to pass a new law that would permit US agents to spy on almost everything we do online. But we can stop them before the final vote.
Companies that we trust with our personal information, like Microsoft and Facebook, are key supporters of this bill that lets corporations share all user activity and content with US government agents without needing a warrant in the name of cyber-security — nullifying privacy guarantees for almost everyone around the world, no matter where we live and surf online.
If enough of us speak out, we can stop companies that profit from our business from supporting cyber-spying. Sign the petition to these key net corporations now:
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) would allow companies doing business in the US to collect exact records of all of our online activities and hand them over to the US government, without ever notifying us that we are being watched. No warrant, no legal cause and no due process required. To make matters worse, the bill provides the government and corporations with blanket immunity to protect them from being sued for violation of privacy and other illegal actions.
The bill’s supporters claim that consumer information will be protected, but the reality is that huge loopholes would make everything we do online fair game — and nowadays, from banking to shopping, our private information is all stored on the Internet.
CISPA is being moved forward in Congress and will be voted upon in days. Let’s raise a massive outcry to stop corporations from giving the US a blank check to monitor our every move. Click below to take action:
This year, we helped stop SOPA, PIPA and ACTA — all dire threats to the Internet. Now, let’s block CISPA and end the US government attack on our Internet.
WIth hope and determination,
Dalia, Allison, Emma, Ricken, Rewan, Andrew, Wen-Hua, and the rest of the Avaaz team
CISPA: The internet finds a new enemy (Global Post)
CISPA protests begin amid key changes to legislation (Los Angeles Times)
Cybersecurity Bill FAQ: The Disturbing Privacy Dangers in CISPA and How To Stop It (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
New CISPA Draft Narrows Cybersecurity Language as Protests Loom (Mashable)