The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) failed in 2012. In early 2013 the bill was reintroduced and the House Intelligence Committee has now voted in favor of the bill with an 18-2 victor. The newly revised bill will not head to the House for a general vote by April 19. CISPA will be voted on alongside various other bills aimed at helping strengthen cybersecurity.
Just as it did in the 2012 the newly revised bill is aimed at streamlining the process that prevents governmental and private sector sharing of information about malicious source code, ongoing attacks, and other internet-based threats.
Critics of the bill believe the bypassing of legal privacy protections while collecting large amounts of data will give the National Security Agency too much access to private data. Data would be collected in real-time and how it would be used is anyones guess.
Speaking to reporters Michigan Republican Mike Rogers attempted to put some publicity spin on the privacy invading document:
“What we came up with, we think, is the right approach. It is the one bill out of everything you’ve seen on both sides of this great institution of the United States Congress that protects a free and open Internet and allows people to share cyber threat information to protect their clients, their business, their [personally identifiable information].”
One change added to the bill by Rogers would require the government to redact personal information from the cyber threat data collected by companies and provided to the government. However, the government would be given full access for “national security purposes” which are not specifically outlined, likely on purpose.
After the House Intelligence Committee voted Representative Adam Schiff said: I think there are positive changes to the bill but they don’t go far enough. I do think that the reservations that the White House has stated to the bill are still there and my expectation is that they would be appreciative of the steps that were taken, but also call for additional steps.”
More than 30,000 websites have stepped up to block the bill such as they did with the equally awful SIPA and PIPA bills in late 2012.