Uh-oh: House of Reps passes CISPA
In a scary development, the US House Of Representatives has passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) by a margin of 248 to 168.
Despite the passing, the nightmare bill is still stalled in the Senate and President Obama has indicated he will veto the bill no matter what, regardless.
What is Cispa?
The new Act is intended to protect out Internet interests by updating the National Security Act of 1947 and follows the failed SOPA and PIPA acts, which were publicly flogged over how the invaded our privacy. Additionally, the Act is meant to protect companies from the likes of hackers in other nations like China and Iran, who routinely try to break into networks of American corporations.
CISPA would allow the government almost infinite power by telling private companies to hand over all personal data it has collected on you over to any government agency that ask, before it is handed off to the Department of Homeland Security. This data includes all emails, all social network posts, all blog comments and everything else you do online.
In the bill itself, it says the companies will not have to pass on the info unless there is a "cyber threat," which is defined as "efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy government or private systems and networks." That means, for example, that someone writing the term DDoS on a forum post, can technically be eligible to have all their personal data handed over to the government.
Despite large companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft supporting the bill (see all 28 here) for its anti-hacking properties, the White House is on the side of the people, with President Obama stating: "Cybersecurity and privacy are not mutually exclusive. Moreover, information sharing, while an essential component of comprehensive legislation, is not alone enough to protect the Nation's core critical infrastructure from cyber threats. Accordingly, the Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, in its current form."