CISPA passes House in unexpected last minute vote
The House of Representatives has approved CISPA with a vote count of 248-168. The bill is now headed for the Senate. President Barack Obama will be able to sign or cancel it pending Senate approval.
Initially slated to vote on the bill Friday, it decided to pass it Thursday after approving a number of amendments.
The snap vote took place after Congressional legislators approved a number of amendments to CISPA. Apart from cyber and national security purposes, the bill would now allow the government to use private information obtained through CISPA for the investigation and prosecution of “cybersecurity crime,” protection of individuals and the protection of children. The new clauses define “cybersecurity crime” as any crime involving network disruption or hacking.
“Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cyber security bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a ‘cybersecurity crime.’ Basically it says the Fourth Amendment does not apply online, at all,” Techdirt’s Leigh Beadon said.
CISPA was introduced in the House last November. Since then, a number of amendments have been adopted. Critics chided the bill, saying its broad wording could allow the government to spy on individual Internet users and block websites that publish vaguely defined ‘sensitive’ data.
“[CISPA] doesn’t really have any protections against cyber threats, all it does is make people share their information. But that’s not going to solve the problem. What’s going to solve the problem is actual security measures, protecting the service in the first place, not spying on people after the fact,” Internet activist Aaron Swartz told RT.
The White House issued a statement Wednesday saying President Barack Obama would be advised to veto the bill if he receives it.
However, CISPA was backed by a number of big companies, including AT&T, Microsoft, Boeing, Verizon and Facebook.
one day early..now its up to barry..will he veto it?