Almost a year after the House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), the House has approved a new version of the controversial bill.
CIPSA passed in the House at the end of April last year. However, the proposed cyber security law faced a lot of criticism from the public and many tech organizations — and a veto threat from President Obama — and the bill died in the Senate.
The goal of the proposal was to help private organizations and the government better protect against cyber security threats. However, much of the controversy surrounded potential threats to the privacy of individuals’ personal information.
For example, CISPA would have allowed Internet service providers to collect and share information on any user activities they feel could present a threat to their networks. Some groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said the original bill was vaguely worded and would have allowed a lot of personal information about Internet users to be collected and shared with the feds.
What about the new CISPA?
The new version of the bill hasn’t done enough to fix those problems, according to many. After the legislation made it through the House, Obama again threatened to veto CISPA, saying he wanted to see “additional improvements.”
Some changes were made to the bill intended to allay privacy concerns, including an amendment that would prohibit information collected under the law to be used for market purposes, and another prohibiting the government from using shared information to conduct surveillance on individuals.
However, many privacy groups agreed with Obama that new version of CISPA passed in the House doesn’t go far enough. For example, the ACLU again came out against the bill, arguing that, among other problems, the bill broadly protects organizations from lawsuits related to privacy violations that occur when information is shared.
In addition, the ACLU says, the new CISPA still contains very few limits over the kinds of information that can be collected and shared, making allowances for all information that “pertains” to cyber security.
What chance does the updated CISPA have of being signed into law? Most agree the prospects aren’t much than they were a year ago. We’ll keep you posted.