CISPA Is Back and Headed for a Vote This Week
2013-04-16 0:00

By Alex Fitzpatrick | Mashable

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, is headed to a full vote in the House of Representatives Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

CISPA passed the House Intelligence Committee last week following a closed-door debate, during which committee members approved four amendments. One particularly significant change was made which disallows the government from using information collected under CISPA for national security purposes — language opponents argued was overly vague and easily manipulatable.

However, most of the amendments which would have made a significant impact on CISPA’s privacy implications were voted down. Despite the insistence of CISPA authors Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), pictured above, that "multiple amendments were made based on input from privacy and civil liberties groups," many of those groups are still opposing the bill.

"The changes to the bill don’t address the major privacy problems we have been raising about CISPA for almost a year and a half," said Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel at the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, in a statement. The Center for Democracy and Technology’s Greg Nojeim warns "CISPA could shift control of the federal government’s cybersecurity program for the private sector to a secretive military intelligence agency."

Apparently not content to let CISPA opponents dominate the online conversation around the technology policy bill, the House Intelligence Committee published a five-page CISPA Q&A which Ruppersberger referred to on Twitter as a "mythbuster." The document hits back against privacy advocates’ most common criticisms of CISPA, claiming the bill "has nothing to do with government surveillance" and that CISPA contains "rigorous" privacy oversight.

"During our markup, we added an amendment that expanded our privacy protections and oversight requirements by adding an extra layer of review by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and requiring senior privacy officials from the government agencies to complete annual reviews evaluating the cyber threat information sharing regime’s effect on privacy," reads the document.


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