Following hours of debate, the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, better known as CISPA, easily passed the House of Representatives this evening with a vote of 248 for, 168 against. The vote was bi-partisan, though more Democrats voted against, while more Republicans voted in favor of the legislation.
Prior to the CISPA’s passage, House Members approved a number of amendments, many of which provide further limits on what types of private information may be shared under the bill, as well as more narrow definitions of “cyber threat intelligence,” among others. All amendments backed by CISPA authors Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) were approved.
Despite these amendments, civil liberties advocates are still unhappy with the bill, saying that it continues to threaten individual privacy. Some even believe the bill is now more dangerous, as it includes a provision that allows information shared under the bill to be used for law enforcement purposes outside the realm of “cybersecurity” or “national security.”
The future of CISPA remains uncertain. It now moves on to the Senate, where it will likely face greater opposition than it did in the House. Moreover, the Obama administration on Wednesday threatened to veto CISPA if it does not include greater protections for privacy and for critical national infrastructure, like electrical grids and water supply systems.
The Senate is expected to take up CISPA debate sometime next month.
We will have more details soon, as they become available.