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CISPA appears doomed in Senate

Jaikumar Vijayan | April 29, 2013
Key lawmakers are suggesting that the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, better known as CISPA, will soon die in the U.S. Senate -- just like last year.

The developments are sure to be welcomed by interest groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and numerous others that describe CISPA as dangerous.

Security practitioners have argued that being able to share information about new vulnerabilities, malware threats and attack signatures is vital to their ability to detect and respond to malicious attacks. Almost every major technology company and industry group supports the legislation that passed the House.

But the EFF, ACLU and others maintain that the law, as worded, is extraordinarily ambiguous and will allow the government to monitor and gather broad swathes of private information on ordinary Internet users under the pretext of cybersecurity.

CISPA proponents insist that all threat data that is gathered and shared under the provisions of the bill would be completely anonymized and stripped of personal identity data. Nonetheless, advocacy groups say it would permit communications service providers to share stored emails, text messages and files with the government.

Mark Jaycox, a staff attorney at the EFF today said the statements by Senate lawmakers are encouraging.

"Time and time again privacy advocates have pointed to problematic flaws in CISPA," Jaycox said. "Though the authors are unwilling to listen, it's reassuring to see a veto threat from the President and confirmation from the Senate that the bill will not move."


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