Despite the threat to veto the cyber intelligence sharing and protection act (CISPA), the House of Representatives passed the controversial CISPA with a vote of 288 to 127. The next stage of the proposed legislation would be its moving to the Senate where its fate would be decided.
If the Senate proposes any change in the proposed CISPA bill, the bill would be reverted back to the House and both chambers must agree on a final version in conference. Thus, the CISPA bill has still to cover a long road before the same is forwarded to the President Obama’s desk. Those opposing the CISPA bill are anticipating that the bill will die in the Senate once again.
CISPA would allow for voluntary information sharing between private companies and the government in the event of a cyber attack. However, privacy concerns are stalling the enactment of CISPA as the proposed law fails to reconcile the conflicting interests of civil liberties and national security requirements.
Laws and procedure already exist in US according to which information can be shared when issues of cyber security are involved. However, CISPA is intimidating in the sense that it drastically expands the nature of data that can be shared.
At present, the US government’s ability to share data on its citizens is fairly restricted, insomuch as the various agencies must demonstrate cause and need. Further, CISPA is also silent about the restrictions imposed upon agencies like the CIA or NSA who could use the information they gather in most liberal manner.
The White House has been insisting that all data that was passed to the law enforcement and intelligence agencies must remove the personally identifiable information. Although an amendment was made to the original CISPA bill that would require the minimisation of personally identifiable information on the government side yet private companies were not obligated to do so. Some believe that imposing this condition upon private firms would discourage private companies from participating in this sharing exercise.
We would report about the development on this front very soon.