Wednesday, April 24, 2013

CISPA Passes US House, Stalling in Senate

While the nation's attention has been on the Boston bombers and questions about their links to Islamic terrorism, computer users faced some other worries. On Thursday April 18th, the CISPA Bill passed the US House of Representatives by a vote of 288-127.

CISPA, officially named the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, was introduced supposedly as to help the government "investigate cyber threats and ensure the security of networks against cyberattacks." But it has been heavily criticized for being a threat to the public's right to privacy. This includes permitting authorities to search databases without warrants, and Internet service providers would be banned from making "legally binding" promises to protect users' privacy.

Fortunately for privacy activists, the bill's future is iffy, at least for the short term. The Senate has been preoccupied with other issues such as immigration and the right to buy firearms. The White House has also threatened to veto the bill if concerns about privacy issues were unanswered, "Citizens have a right to know that corporations will be held accountable, and not granted immunity, for failing to safeguard personal information adequately … " This is a similar course to what happened in 2012, and the bill was never taken up by the Senate that year.

Sources: ABC News (Chicago) , CNet, Wikipedia

Bixyl Shuftan

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