ACLU: CISPA Is Dead (For Now)
ACLU: CISPA Is Dead (For Now)
By Jason Koebler /

CISPA is all but dead, again.

The controversial cybersecurity bill known as the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act, which passed the House of Representatives last week, will almost certainly be shelved by the Senate, according to a representative of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

The bill would have allowed the federal government to share classified "cyber threat" information with companies, but it also provided provisions that would have allowed companies to share information about specific users with the government. Privacy advocates also worried that the National Security Administration would have gotten involved.

[READ: U.S. Military Writes Rules on Cybersecurity While Chinese Hacks Skyrocket]

"We're not taking [CISPA] up," the committee representative says. "Staff and senators are divvying up the issues and the key provisions everyone agrees would need to be handled if we're going to strengthen cybersecurity. They'll be drafting separate bills."

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., chairman of the committee, said the passage of CISPA was "important," but said the bill's "privacy protections are insufficient."

That, coupled with the fact that President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill, has even CISPA's staunchest opponents, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, ready to bury CISPA and focus on future legislation.

"I think it's dead for now," says Michelle Richardson, legislative council with the ACLU. "CISPA is too controversial, it's too expansive, it's just not the same sort of program contemplated by the Senate last year. We're pleased to hear the Senate will probably pick up where it left off last year."

That's not to say Congress won't pass any cybersecurity legislation this year. Both Rockefeller and President Obama want to give American companies additional tools to fight back against cyberattacks from domestic and foreign hackers.

[READ: Lawmakers Who Pushed CISPA Were 'Doxed']

But cybersecurity legislation in the Senate, such as the Cybersecurity and American Cyber Competitiveness Act of 2013, has greater privacy protections than CISPA does. Richardson says that bill makes it clear that companies would have to "pull out sensitive data [about citizens]" before companies send it to the government and also puts the program under "unequivocal civilian control," something CISPA author Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., was unwilling to do.

Even if the Senate gets something done, Rogers and other CISPA supporters will likely have to compromise more than they've been willing to over the past year as Obama has made it clear he will veto legislation that doesn't have more privacy protections.

"The way [Rogers] talks, [the House] has gone as far as they possibly can on privacy," Richardson says. "I don't know if that's true and I'm not sure how they'll respond when the Senate puts something back to them. But if they don't figure out a compromise, they might not get any legislation at all."

The commerce representative says that the Senate committee is "working toward separate bills" to improve cybersecurity, which are currently being drafted. But don't expect these bills soon, as the Senate considers immigration, an Internet sales tax, the aftermath of the Boston bombing and the Federal Aviation Administration's air traffic control crisis in the wake of sequestration.

Richardson says she thinks it'll be at least three months before the Senate takes a vote on any cybersecurity legislation.

"We need to be vigilant as the year moves on to make sure that whatever the next product is, it's not CISPA-lite," she says. "I think this is probably going to take the rest of the year."

4.0 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
Chris Agnos · 14,181 views today · Disclaimer: I do not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think the scope of the political debate is far too narrow for the kinds of actions that need to...
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 12,623 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Gil Scott-Heron Deconstructs Colonialism and Black History in His Own Unique Style
3 min · 9,402 views today · His-Story: I was wondering about our yesterdays, and starting searching through the rubble and to say the very least, somebody went to a hell of a lot of trouble to make sure...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 6,995 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
For Those Who Don't Want to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils
Peter White · 6,240 views today · Ranked-choice voting is catching on, and Maine might become the first state to help citizens vote for candidates they actually want.
Anarchists - What We Stand For
unknown · 4,158 views today · Anarchism : The word “anarchy” comes from Greek and means “no rulers”. As a political philosophy, anarchism is based on the idea that organization does not require rulers—that...
Donald and Hobbes Is Genius
Various · 3,088 views today · Some clever folk have been replacing precocious 6-year-old Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, with Donald Trump and the results are, well, take a look...
HyperNormalisation (2016)
161 min · 2,415 views today · We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless...
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills · 2,072 views today · Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,602 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Lessons in the Calais Jungle: Teaching Life Stories and Learning About Humanity
Aura Lounasmaa · 1,469 views today · I am part of a team of academics teaching a course to residents in the Calais Jungle, a camp for migrants and refugees outside the French city. Life Stories in the Jungle has...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 1,269 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
My Cuba - An Intimate Look at the Pleasures and Struggles of 6 Different People's Cuba
150 min · 1,019 views today · Cuba - diverse, vibrant and complex - is undergoing immense change. But what does it mean to be Cuban in this time of change? Six people. Six films. From the comedy and ballet...
Planet Earth II Could Be Best Nature Doc Ever Made
3 min · 919 views today · 10 years ago Planet Earth changed our view of the world. Now we take you closer than ever before. This is life in all its wonder. This is Planet Earth II. A decade ago, the...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 615 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 593 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Our Obsession With 'Good Immigrants' Breeds Intolerance
2 min · 502 views today · Society sets the bar so high to become a 'good immigrant', argues writer Nikesh Shukla, that normal immigrants are demonised. He says non-Brits in the public eye have a simple...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 417 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
The Untold History of Palestine & Israel
22 min · 408 views today · Previewing Abby Martin’s on-the-ground investigation in Palestine, The Empire Files looks at the long history of Zionist colonization, expansion and expulsion of Palestine’s...
Eckhart Tolle: Your Facebook Ego, That's Not Who You Are
2 min · 344 views today · “Identification with thoughts and the emotions that go with those thoughts creates a false mind-made sense of self, conditioned by the past: the "little me" and its story. This...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
ACLU: CISPA Is Dead (For Now)