CISPA suffers setback in Senate citing privacy concerns

The Senate will almost certainly kill a controversial cybersecurity bill, recently passed by the House, according to a U.S. Senate Committee member.

The comments were first reported by U.S. News on Thursday.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, said in a statement on April 18 that CISPA's privacy protections are "insufficient."

A committee aide told CNET on Thursday that Rockefeller believes the Senate will not take up CISPA. The White House has also said the president won't sign the House bill.

Staff … Read more

Film 'War for Web' warns of CISPA, SOPA, future threats

From Aaron Swartz's struggles with an antihacking law to Hollywood's lobbying to a raft of surveillance proposals, the Internet and its users' rights are under attack as never before, according to the creators of a forthcoming documentary film.

The film, titled "War for the Web," traces the physical infrastructure of the Internet, from fat underwater cables to living room routers, as a way to explain the story of what's behind the high-volume politicking over proposals like CISPA, Net neutrality, and the Stop Online Piracy Act.

"People talk about security, people talk about privacy, they … Read more

CISPA plan to let feds receive confidential data wins big House vote

The U.S. House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a controversial data-sharing bill that would authorize e-mail and Internet providers to share confidential information with the federal government.

By a 288-127 vote today, the House adopted the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, better known as CISPA, which supporters say is necessary to protect American networks from electronic attacks and intrusions. The vote signals more support for the bill than it enjoyed last year, when it cleared the House by a narrower margin but died in the Senate. (See CNET's CISPA FAQ.)

CISPA is "so important to our … Read more

CISPA permits police to do warrantless database searches

A controversial data-sharing bill being debated today in the U.S. House of Representatives authorizes federal agencies to conduct warrantless searches of information they obtain from e-mail and Internet providers.

Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, proposed a one-sentence amendment (PDF) that would have required the National Security Agency, the FBI, Homeland Security, and other agencies to secure a "warrant obtained in accordance with the Fourth Amendment" before searching a database for evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

Grayson complained this morning on Twitter that House Republicans "wouldn't even allow debate on requiring a warrant before a search.&… Read more

CISPA vote means companies can't promise to protect privacy

Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other Internet companies and e-mail providers will be prohibited from making legally binding promises to protect your privacy, thanks to a vote this afternoon in the U.S. House of Representatives.

By a 5-8 vote, the House Rules committee rejected a bipartisan fix to the CISPA data-sharing bill that would have ensured companies' privacy promises -- including their terms of use and privacy policies -- remained valid and legally enforceable in the future.

The vote came after Rep. Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican who's the committee's influential chairman, urged his colleagues to vote against … Read more

Obama threatens veto of CISPA database-sharing bill

The White House today delivered a formal veto threat against a controversial data-sharing bill called CISPA that would allow intelligence agencies to collect personal information about Americans from private companies.

In a statement this afternoon, President Obama's aides said they "would recommend that he veto the bill," which is scheduled for a House of Representatives floor vote this week.

A House committee approved CISPA last week without four key privacy amendments. Sought by CISPA opponents, the amendments would have curbed the National Security Agency's ability to collect confidential data. (See CNET's CISPA FAQ.)

The White … Read more

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft execs back CISPA through trade group

A tech trade group whose guiding lights include executives from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo sent a letter to Congress this week in support of CISPA -- the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act -- proposed cybersecurity legislation that's raised privacy concerns among groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union.

The letter, from TechNet President Rey Ramsey, is addressed to the leaders of the House Intelligence Committee -- Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D -Md.) -- and commends the committee for providing liability protections to companies that would share data under CISPA and for making an … Read more

Privacy protections booted from CISPA data-sharing bill

A controversial data-sharing bill won the approval of a key congressional committee today without privacy amendments, raising concerns that the National Security Agency and other spy agencies will gain broad access to Americans' personal information.

The House Intelligence committee, by a vote of 18 to 2, adopted the so-called CISPA bill after an unusual session closed to the public where panel members debated and voted on the proposed law in secret.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who proposed three unsuccessful privacy amendments, said afterward she was disappointed her colleagues did not limit the NSA and other intelligence agencies from collecting sensitive … Read more

Reddit co-founder sharpens knife for CISPA fight

As Congress readies for what's sure to be a heated debate over the controversial cybersecurity bill CISPA, leaders in the tech community are speaking out.

Unsurprisingly, a known activist for Internet freedom and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is one of those leading the charge. In a comical video released today in conjunction with digital rights advocate group Fight for the Future, Ohanian calls on tech CEOs to join his cause (see below).

"I'm hoping all of these tech companies take the stand that their privacy policies matter. Their users' privacy matters," Ohanian said in the video. &… Read more

House to amend CISPA in secret

Another day, another House Intelligence Committee session held in secret, under the rather convenient excuse that "classified information" might be revealed.

As was the case last year when members of the committee amended the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) the first time around -- the bill, dubbed a "privacy killer" by online activists and privacy groups, will once again be amended in a veil of secrecy.

According to the committee's spokesperson, Susan Phalen, (via The Hill), these secret hearings are not uncommon and "sometimes they'll need to bounce into classified information … Read more