June 19, 2013
House Ignores Veto Threat and OKs CISPA
Posted on Apr 27, 2012
Ignoring a White House veto threat and concerns about the erosion of Americans’ privacy rights, the House passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act on Thursday, sending the controversial issue to the Senate.
“The White House believes the government ought to control the Internet” is how House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, spun things after the House vote.
CISPA would encourage companies and the federal government to share information collected on the Internet to help prevent electronic attacks from cybercriminals, foreign governments and terrorists.
The Obama administration threatened to veto the bill and suggested alternative legislation that would give the Department of Homeland Security primary authority over domestic cybersecurity. That bill is currently stalled in the Senate.
Widespread concern for the House bill’s impingement on privacy prompted representatives to draft an amendment that limits the government’s use of private information to five explicit purposes: “cybersecurity; investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crimes; protection of individuals from death or serious bodily harm; protection of minors from child pornography; and the protection of national security.” That amendment passed, 410 to 3.
Still, civil libertarians criticized the bill as another step toward the end of privacy for Americans on the Internet. Advocates of the bill responded that officials would simply encourage companies not to share personal information with the government or other parties. —ARK
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