Will CISPA allow the digital world to be better governed, or is it just bad news for privacy and freedom of speech?
Extract: The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, better known as CISPA, cleared the House of Representatives on a 248-168 vote late Thursday afternoon after several hours of debate and amending.
CISPA’s intention is to allow private companies to share information about cybersecurity threats with one another and with the federal government. The bill was introduced by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.).
Some of the amendments passed included language to restrict the use of information collected under CISPA and ensure that most collected data would be subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
Proponents of CISPA, including top technology companies such as Facebook and Microsoft, have argued that CISPA would allow businesses to pool knowledge about cyberattacks, enhancing their ability to defend their networks. Naysayers believe the bill would allow private companies to send Internet users’ personal information to the federal government with minimal civilian oversight.
CISPA’s authors worked with technology companies as well as privacy and civil liberty organizations after controversy over the bill began to brew. Some privacy groups, such as the Center for Democracy and Technology, tentatively withheld their opposition to CISPA dependent on the amendment process.