Two almost identical versions of this bill have been introduced into previous sessions of Congress — once as H.R. 3523 in 2011 and again in 2013 as H.R. 624. The legislation has passed in one chamber or the other, but never made it to the President's desk.
Many of the bill's supporters argue that CISPA is necessary to safeguard the U.S. against cyber threats. As a press release from Sponsoring Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) notes:
"This bill is a vital first step toward providing better protection
for the networks and systems that Americans depend on every day."
Opponents of CISPA argue that the vague wording in the bill gives companies the unrestricted power to hand over private information to the government. One critic noted:
"New provisions were added to the bill.
They claimed to “limit” the government’s authority granted in the bill,
but all the new items say are that privacy protection can be
circumvented for “investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime,
protection of individuals, and protection of children.” So as long as
the government can claim that any of those three issues are at stake,
anyone and everyone’s personal information can be delivered directly to
them, effectively nullifying privacy on the web."
Sponsoring Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) Press Release
CBO Cost Estimate (Previous Bill Version)
Mediaite: The Case For — and Against — Freaking Out About CISPA
Digital Trends: The 800+ CISPA Supporters List
Facebook: A Message About CISPA
(Photo Credit: Flickr user PaulSwansen)