Congress

House passes CISPA

Cybersecurity

The controversial cyber bill passed the House on a 288-127 vote. The Senate blocked last year's version of the bill, and may do so again.

The controversial Cybersecurity Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act passed April 18 in the House by a margin of 288-127, joining three other cybersecurity bills that will move forward for Senate consideration.

CISPA passed the House last year as well, but died in the Senate amid privacy and civil liberties concerns as well as a White House veto threat. The latest vote drew praise from information-sharing advocates but, as in the past, ignited a firestorm of criticism as well.

"I am very proud that so many of my colleagues were able to look past the distortions and fear-mongering about this bill, and see it for what it really is -- a very narrow and focused authority to share cybersecurity threat information to keep America safe," said Rep. Mike Rogers, (R-Mich.), who co-sponsored the bill. "I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to get cyber threat information sharing legislation passed into law this year."

Some parties -- IT trade groups, Capitol Hill backers of the legislation -- applauded CISPA's passage, characterizing it as a step toward comprehensive cybersecurity legislation. In particular, the bill's measures addressing information-sharing between private companies and the government garnered praise.

"Early detection and notification of cybersecurity threats is the most critical component of preventing and mitigating attacks as well as increasing security across the board," said Ken Wasch, president of the Software and Information Industry Association. "CISPA creates the necessary flexibility for businesses to share security information without fear of legal or regulatory liability."

However, other organizations voiced concerns over privacy and civil liberties threats the bill could pose by allowing companies, including Internet service providers, to furnish the government with information on citizens' online activities.

"CISPA is an extreme proposal that allows companies that hold our very sensitive information to share it with any company or government entity they choose, even directly with military agencies like the [National Security Agency], without first stripping out personally identifiable information," said Michelle Richardson, a legislative counsel at the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office. "We will work with Congress to make sure that the next version of information sharing legislation unequivocally resolves this issue, as well as tightens immunity provisions and protects personal information. Cybersecurity can be done without sacrificing Americans' privacy online."

According to reports, work is now under way in the Senate to draft a cybersecurity bill.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 Genevieve Ungar Glen Burnie Maryland

This is a recommendation for the United States Congress to have a four day work week to save money with use of public buildings. Use the Internet to answer legislative reports to members of Congress.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group