CISPA passes House (again), White House threatens veto (again)

By on April 19, 2013, 3:00 PM

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is once again making the rounds. The bill passed the House on Thursday with a 288-127 vote. Although there appears to be a fair amount of bi-partisan support for the bill, it may yet face trouble in the Senate and at the hands of the White House though, which has threatened to veto the bill in its current form.

CISPA was originally introduced last year, a bill which encouraged businesses to "share" otherwise private information (e.g. messages, e-mails, billing information and more) about their customers and users with government agencies. In trade for this information, CISPA promised immunity to existing privacy laws which otherwise bar this type of information sharing. 

The current incarnation of the bill is effectively the same one that failed last year. Unlike last year though, CISPA is not in competition with other Internet security legislation and the president has since called on lawmakers to bolster national cybersecurity measures.

Supporters believe CISPA would better enable the government to address threats quickly, skirting typical barriers like subpoenas and warrants by tossing a direct line to businesses who may offer personal information free of legal recourse.

Detractors believe the bill is too broad and represents a grave threat to privacy laws and the fourth amendment. "All it does is give the government access to your information." believes Change.org. Supporters argue this claim is a myth and truly unprovoked privacy invasion would actually be (pdf) a "rare occurrence".

"The administration still seeks additional improvements," a statement issued by the White House said. "and if the bill, as currently crafted, were presented to the president, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill."

The White House also added, "Citizens have a right to know that corporations will be held accountable – and not granted immunity – for failing to safeguard personal information adequately."

Amongst the scores of tech companies who support the bill are Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple. However, the usual list of privacy and rights advocates have called for the bill to be stamped out once more.




User Comments: 8

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bielius bielius said:

This is bad this is bad this is bad. I hope Anon is really going to make the black out monday work, and more people will get informed about how much damage will this cause to our rights.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Hmm... another law that balances security against protection of personal information. Reminds me of another bill that died in Congress this week *cough* gun control. The opponents there said that a national registry may someday occur of everyone who owned a gun. With CISPA we're scared of our personal information being held by the govt.

But there's a difference... opponents of gun control also said that stricter background checks wouldn't be followed by criminals selling guns person to person anymore than someone selling a TV reports the cash income on his taxes. Its easy to oppose a law if you don't think it will serve any good.

Where's the argument for the effectiveness of CISPA? Do the opponents say it won't cut down on cyber crime, and do the supporters say it will?

We need to have some good information about the expected benefit if we're going to weigh the pluses and minuses of this bill.

Guest said:

Who are some big supporters?

Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple
Oh. The companies that are just waiting on making some more cash for selling the government information.

Apple records all Siri data for two years? They'll make it three if that's how long this bill takes to get passed. Let them cherry-pick our rights away one by one...until it's too late to do anything about it...then we'll be fined for making a complaint!

psycros psycros said:

Who are some big supporters?
Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple
Oh. The companies that are just waiting on making some more cash for selling the government information.

Apple records all Siri data for two years? They'll make it three if that's how long this bill takes to get passed. Let them cherry-pick our rights away one by one...until it's too late to do anything about it...then we'll be fined for making a complaint!

You already are. Look at the lawsuits the Obama administration has against various state governments and individuals who've exposed the criminal activities of himself and his cronies. Look at how hard the White House has tried to silence dissent. Look at the near total control they have over the so-called mainstream media. The ugly truth is that we haven't been living in a free republic for a while now. Obama has clearly learned from the pasting he took over supporting SOPA (at first) and has decided to at least *appear* like he opposes CISPA from the outset. Maybe its because he knows full well that CISPA is an even bigger threat to our freedoms. Its nothing less than a license to break the law and ignore due process. Funny thing is, Obama has signed off on several bills of *exactly* this kind and did it with a smile. None of those measures got any press coverage to speak of so that could be a factor. In truth I'm not sure why CISPA would give him the slightest pause..its not as if he has to worry about re-election. Maybe that's the real reason why he's taken this stance - perhaps he's scared that CISPA might open the door to airing his *own* dirty laundry as soon as he's out of office.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

So this can go past the house but not a gun bill? LOL

1 person liked this | bielius bielius said:

So this can go past the house but not a gun bill? LOL

Summing up the governmental decisions...

Guest said:

I think it would be so much easier to protect America if we just got rid of due process all together. Come to think of it we should get rid of the Constitution as well. It just makes things so much harder. Maybe the government should just be able to do whatever they want and say it is for the good of the country. I mean there is absolutely no corruption of our elected officials.

Guest said:

" skirting typical barriers like subpoenas and warrants "

I don't think anymore need be said about this, especially when due process and judicial review is being considered a "barrier"

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