Law

How CISPA would affect you (faq)

It took a debate that stretched to nearly seven hours, and votes on over a dozen amendments, but the U.S. House of Representatives finally approved the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act on April 26.

Passions flared on both sides before the final vote on CISPA, which cleared the House by a comfortable margin of 248 to 168.

CISPA would "waive every single privacy law ever enacted in the name of cybersecurity," Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat and onetime Web entrepreneur, said during the debate. "Allowing the military and NSA to spy on Americans on … Read more

House approves CISPA despite last-minute push by opponents

The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a controversial Internet surveillance bill, rejecting increasingly vocal arguments from critics that it would do more to endanger Americans' privacy than aid cybersecurity.

By a vote of 248 to 168, a bipartisan majority approved the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, which would permit Internet companies to hand over confidential customer records and communications to the National Security Agency and other portions of the U.S. government.

CISPA would "waive every single privacy law ever enacted in the name of cybersecurity," said Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat, … Read more

Advocacy group flip-flops twice over CISPA surveillance bill

news analysis Politicians behind a surveillance bill that would let Internet companies open their networks to the U.S. government briefly found a new friend this week: a non-profit group known for its privacy advocacy.

Until yesterday, opposition to the CISPA legislation appeared to be growing, with Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul and House Democrats raising new concerns. A petition opposing the bill, also known as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, had garnered nearly 800,000 signatures.

Then the Center for Democracy and Technology, a well-known advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., defected from the expanding anti-CISPA … Read more

White House takes aim at CISPA with formal veto threat

The White House today escalated its opposition to a cybersecurity-related surveillance bill with a formal veto threat.

In a new statement, the White House's Office of Management and Budget said that the CISPA bill endangered Americans' privacy and inappropriately shielded private companies from liability.

The statement suggests that CISPA -- also known as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act -- goes too far by giving the National Security Agency too much power:

H.R. 3523 effectively treats domestic cybersecurity as an intelligence activity and thus, significantly departs from longstanding efforts to treat the Internet and cyberspace as civilian … Read more

Proposed CISPA amendments do little to appease critics

The good news for foes of a controversial surveillance bill is that House of Representatives members have proposed 44 amendments in advance of a vote later this week.

The bad news is that yesterday's flood of amendments won't do much to address the major criticisms of CISPA, also known as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.

"A lot of them aren't substantive," Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel for the ACLU, told CNET. "They just put the veneer of privacy protections on the bill, and will garner more support for the bill even without making … Read more

Opposition grows to CISPA 'Big Brother' cybersecurity bill

Last-minute opposition to the CISPA, which has been criticized as a "Big Brother" cybersecurity bill, is growing as the U.S. House of Representatives prepares for a vote this week.

Rep. Ron Paul, the Texas Republican and presidential candidate, warned in a statement and YouTube video today that CISPA (PDF) represents the "latest assault on Internet freedom." Paul warned that "CISPA is Big Brother writ large," and said that he hopes that "the public responds to CISPA as it did to SOPA back in January."

In addition, 18 Democratic House members signed … Read more

Wireless providers side with cops over users on location privacy

The nation's largest wireless providers oppose a proposed California location privacy law that would require police to obtain search warrants to track a wireless customer's whereabouts, CNET has learned.

They're criticizing a new state bill, S.B. 1434, that would require a judge to approve requests for location tracking except in certain emergency situations. S.B. 1434 would also require wireless providers to divulge "the number of times location information has been disclosed," and how many times they rejected police requests.

Their criticism comes as concerns about warrantless location surveillance, a practice that the Obama … Read more

CNET hosting CISPA town hall meeting April 19: Join us!

CNET is pleased to announce a public town hall meeting on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, otherwise known as CISPA, tomorrow evening that we're hosting at our headquarters in San Francisco. (Update: We'll also be live-streaming the event. Click here.)

You're invited! Here's the information about the event, which will be held in our offices in the city's South of Market neighborhood, close to BART, CalTrain, freeways, and the Bay Bridge. The fine folks at Hackers and Founders are helping to organize it in advance of a House of Representatives floor vote expected … Read more

White House questions CISPA cybersecurity bill

The White House today expressed concerns about a controversial cybersecurity bill that would authorize Internet companies to divulge confidential customer records and communications.

Opposition from the Obama administration -- which stopped short of a veto threat -- could imperil the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which is scheduled for a House of Representatives floor vote next week. CISPA is intended to improve computer security by allowing companies and government agencies to share sensitive information.

In a statement provided to The Hill newspaper, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said:

While information sharing legislation is an essential component of comprehensive … Read more

CISPA gets a rewrite but still threatens Americans' privacy

New revisions to a proposed federal cybersecurity law still would permit Internet companies to hand over confidential customer records and communications to the National Security Agency.

A recent torrent of criticism prompted the politicians behind the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act to circulate a revised version (PDF) of CISPA this evening before an expected floor vote next week. But the authors made only relatively minor tweaks.

The legislation remains so broad that the NSA could vacuum up "all sorts of sensitive information like Internet use information and the contents of e-mails," ACLU legislative counsel Michelle Richardson told … Read more