House Passes CISPA Despite White House's Objections To The Measure

We first heard about CISPA, aka the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, a few weeks ago, and wondered then if we should worry about it being the next SOPA or PIPA. While the legislation is progressing further, and was passed in the House yesterday, the Obama administration is likely to veto it.

The Associated Press via (MSNBC) says the act passed on a bipartisan vote of 248-168 in the GOP-controlled house. CISPA would encourage companies and the federal government to share information collected on the Internet, in order to protect against attacks.

“This is the last bastion of things we need to do to protect this country,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

The sharing would be voluntary, as Republicans don’t want to impose new regulations on businesses.

The legislation would allow the government to relay cyber threat information to a company to prevent attacks from Russia or China. In the private sector, corporations could alert the government and provide data that could stop an attack intended to disrupt the country’s water supply or take down the banking system.

The White House has said they’d veto the House bill, in favor of a stalled Senate bit of legislation that would hand over most of the job of domestic cybersecurity to the Homeland Security Department.

The Obama administration and a group of liberal and conservative groups are against the measure, claiming it could violate Americans’ privacy. For example, a company could choose to share an employee’s personal information with the government, and who knows where it would go from there?

“Once in government hands, this information can be used for undefined ‘national security’ purposes unrelated to cybersecurity,” a coalition that included the American Civil Liberties Union and former conservative Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., wrote lawmakers Thursday.

House OKs CISPA cybersecurity bill despite veto threat [Associated Press]