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Updated CISPA bill passes through House Intelligence Committee

12 Apr 2013
A delete button for data privacy

The House Intelligence Committee has approved a revised version of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) bill despite calls for stronger privacy amendments.

Approved changes to the bill call for government agencies to strip personal information from the data they receive from private companies. Despite the changes many of the bill's opponents said the amendments fail address key privacy concerns.

Opponents of the revamped bill included the ACLU, White House, and Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. In its statement against CISPA, the ACLU urged members of the House to oppose the bill when it hits the congressional floor next week.

"CISPA still permits companies to share sensitive and personal customer information with the government and allows the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect the internet records of everyday Americans," said legislative counsel at the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, Michelle Richardson, in a statement.

"The bill continues to do so even though the NSA maintains it does not want nor need that power and cybersecurity experts tell lawmakers that sharing personal information will not protect critical infrastructure from intrusion and attack."

Two amendments which advocates called vital to the bill were dismissed by the Committee.

One recommended amendment called on the NSA and Department of Defense (DOD) to be excluded from the data-sharing pact. While the other demanded that personal information be striped from shared data by companies instead of the government.

Schakowsky was the one who ushered in the dismissed amendments. The Congresswoman was also one of the few members of the Committee to vote against the bill. In a recent public statement, she derided the bill and its passing by the committee.

"My amendments would have strengthened privacy protections, ensured that consumers can hold companies accountable for misuse of their private information," said Schakowsky.

"Required that companies report cyber threat information directly to civilian agencies and maintained the long standing tradition that the military doesn't operate on U.S. soil against American citizens,"

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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