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CISPA advancement stymied by potential public blowback of NSA leaks

updated 03:48 pm EDT, Fri June 28, 2013

Bill motion postponed until at least September, White House still may veto

The NSA spy program leaks have had some unintended consequences -- the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) appears to be meeting significant resistance on its way to becoming law. US legislators have chosen to delay advancing cybersecurity legislation until September, and possibly later, to assess colleague and constituent support for the controversial bill.

"There's very little faith in the institutions of government right now," said Representative Tom Cole (R-OK). "If you look like you're not sufficiently critical and sufficiently vigilant in defending people's liberties, I think they'll express that at the polls."

Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Michael McCaul (R-TX) said that disclosure of the extensive NSA monitoring program known as PRISM "probably couldn't have come at a worse time" to allow CISPA to advance. The core principles of CISPA focus on information sharing between private companies and government agencies. The language is specifically related to Internet and technology threats, such as malicious software and hacking attacks.

Proponents argue that such legislation is necessary to protect against cyber attacks, quickly providing relevant data to enforcement agencies tasked with responding to threats. Critics claim the language ignores existing privacy guarantees and lacks oversight, enabling agencies to collect a broad range of personal data about law-abiding users.

After passing the 2012 House vote, the initial bill did not make it to a floor vote in the Senate. It remains unclear if the 2013 bill will face the same fate especially given the new delays, though the White House has implied that President Obama is willing to block it if it passes.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) believes that legislation such as CISPA is needed "to ensure that voluntary information sharing is lawful," Feinstein said an emailed statement to Bloomberg. However, she qualified her support by saying that any such law should include liability for companies who abuse the data collected, and privacy protections for citizens.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    I'm voting against these idiots on the next go around. If the only way we can ever know what insanity our "representatives" enact is through leaks, how can you put the leaker on trial, without putting the representatives on trial first? Knowingly enacting unconstitutional legislation that no one else can know about would seem more treasonous than leaking the details about the results of that unconstitutional legislation. National security doesn't allow anyone to just do what they want. I further suggest that the current state of national security activity undermines the entire concept of national security.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 04-05-11

    Wow, strong views; any one with a prospect of living in a truly democratic society must share. It's going to be tough to weed out who really is in favor of what, but I look forward to keeping eyes wide open in the coming months.

  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09


    So, wait, you're arguing in favor of secret courts in a secret agency appointed without approval and with effectively no oversight, spying on absolutely everyone everywhere? Yeah, that's democratic, all right. I'm sure there won't be massive abuses of the system of all levels like there have been with every single other "intelligence" initiative. It's not like they already publicly lied about the extent of the program.

    Oh, wait, they already lied even about the EXISTENCE of the program. In a Congressional hearing. Yeah, I'm sure they're not going to break any laws.

    When did super-authoritarianism become the default view of morons, anyway? I must have missed it.

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