House Intelligence Committee OKs amended version of controversial CISPA

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House Intelligence Committee OKs amended version of controversial CISPA
House Intelligence Committee OKs amended version of controversial CISPA

The U.S. House Intelligence Committee, in an 18-2 vote, on Wednesday passed a marked-up version of the controversial information-sharing bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

The draft was amended in hopes of satisfying privacy concerns. However, according to The Hill tech policy reporter Jennifer Martinez, the committee did not agree to amendments from Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., which would have limited liability protection for companies and required that personal information be eliminated from threat data prior to being shared.

The proposed legislation, which supporters say will help the private sector better defend itself against cyber attacks by codifying information sharing with government, was revived earlier this year by Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., after being approved by the House in April 2012 but never taken up by the Senate. The White House also had threatened a veto.

Even with amendments, CISPA is expected to face a fierce fight from civil liberties advocates, who are concerned that the bill would lead to the sharing of customer's personally identifiable information with government agencies, like the National Security Agency, without their knowledge or consent and without legal oversight and recourse. 

Once a final version is approved by the committee, CISPA will go for a full House vote.

Also on Wednesday, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., reintroduced the Strengthening and Enhancing Cyber Security by Using Research, Education, Information and Technology (SECURE IT), a threat-sharing bill that is said to be a complement of CISPA.

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