It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. The House of Representatives was supposed to debate the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act last night (Thursday) and then vote on it today (Friday).
As usual, though, Congress is trying to speed things up before the outcry over the questionable piece of legislation becomes to loud to ignore.
In a surprise vote last night, the House approved the measure by a 248-168 vote.
The bill’s passage, despite a new veto threat from the White House on Wednesday, now places the responsibility in the hands of the U.S. Senate, which also has its own piece of cybersecurity legislation in the works.
In all, 28 Republicans voted against CISPA, along with 140 Democrats.
Privacy advocates are concerned that this measure will violate basic civil liberties.
The Center for Democracy and Technology, which withdrew its support for CISPA on Wednesday, said in a statement that it was “disappointed that CISPA passed the House in such flawed form and under such a flawed process.” While the group was unhappy with some of the amendments, which tried to narrow the scope of the controversial bill, the group is still concerned that CISPA allows data to move “from the private sector directly to the NSA.” They also said that the bill inappropriately allows for information to be used for national security purposes other than cybersecurity.
In a separate statement, the American Civil Liberties Union said that it is concerned about the bill.
“CISPA goes too far for little reason,” said Michelle Richardson, ACLU legislative counsel.
“Cybersecurity does not have to mean abdication of Americans’ online privacy. As we’ve seen repeatedly, once the government gets expansive national security authorities, there’s no going back. We encourage the Senate to let this horrible bill fade into obscurity.”
Shortly after the the House passed CISPA, it also moved to approve another cybersecurity measure – amendments to the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) proposed by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).
- House Passes Cybersecurity Measure CISPA (businesspundit.com)
- CISPA: An Explicit Attack On American Freedoms (themoderatevoice.com)
- CISPA Passed The House With Amendments That Make It Worse (dvorak.org)
- Privacy-Killing CISPA Bill Passes House In The US (gizmodo.com.au)