According to Forbes.com, the CISPA Internet bill, which sparked privacy worries among numerous Internet freedom advocates, was passed in Washington. "In an earlier-than-expected vote Thursday evening, the House of Representatives voted 248 to 168 in favor of the bill."
According to writer Andy Greenman, Trevor Timm, a lawyer and activist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, felt, "the House’s early vote on CISPA as an attempt by its author, representative Mike Rogers, to squeeze the bill through before its opposition grew any stronger." The bill was also amended before passage, "the House voted to amend the bill to actually allow even more types of private sector information to be shared with government agencies, not merely in matters of cybersecurity or national security, but in the investigation of vaguely defined cybersecurity 'crimes,' 'protection of individuals from the danger of death or serious bodily harm,' and cases that involve the protection of minors from exploitation." It was a move that raised further concerns from opponents. Techdirt.com's Leigh Beadon called it "an absolutely terrible change."
"Somehow, incredibly, this was described as limiting CISPA, but it accomplishes the exact opposite," Beadon wrote, "CISPA is now a completely unsupportable bill that rewrites (and effectively eliminates) all privacy laws for any situation that involves a computer. Far from the defense against malevolent foreign entities that the bill was described as by its authors, it is now an explicit attack on the freedoms of every American."
The bill still has to be passed in the Senate before heading to the White House, which has come out against it recently. Timm saw hope it would be beaten, "We’ve seen an explosion of a variety of groups and congressmen coming out against the bill,” he says. “As the Senate debates this, it’s good that privacy and civil liberties will be front and center.”
Sources: Forbes.com, Techdirt.com
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