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article imageCISPA is 'dead for now' as the measure is halted in Senate

By Anne Sewell     Apr 26, 2013 in Internet
Washington - Those with Internet privacy concerns can breathe a sigh of relief, at least for now. Senate has halted the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act in its current form due to privacy concerns.
The Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA) was recently passed by the US House of Representatives, and in its next step up towards the Obama administration has lost track, due to the bill’s lack of privacy protections, which Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) deemed “insufficient.”
Senator Rockefeller is chairman of the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and has confirmed that CISPA’s passage seemed "unlikely."
Commerce committee spokesperson Kevin McAlister emailed a previously issued statement to Mashable from Sen. Rockefeller saying he prefers an all-encompassing cybersecurity bill:
“Today’s action in the House is important, even if CISPA’s privacy protections are insufficient. We need action on all the elements that will strengthen our cybersecurity, not just one, and that's what the Senate will achieve. I plan to work with Senator Thune, as well as the Chairmen and Ranking Members on other Committees of jurisdiction, to go through regular order. I believe we can gain bipartisan agreement on bills that we can report out of our Committees and allow Leader Reid to bring them to the Senate floor as early as possible. There is too much at stake – our economic and national security – for Congress to fail to act.”
A representative of the Senate Committee stated that, while CISPA appears to be dead for the time being, key provisions and issues may still re-emerge in the future.
"We're not taking [CISPA] up. 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," said the representative.
The Obama administration had threatened to veto CISPA if it got that far, also due to privacy concerns.
Michelle Richardson, a representative of the legislative council with the ACLU said that this legislation now faces an uncertain future. She told the US News:
"I think it's dead for now," says Richardson, "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."
Richardson further said it should be about three months before any further cybersecurity legislation raises its head in the Senate.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) had said that CISPA represents a “dangerous” level of access to private information, as it would allow the NSA to obtain online communications data without a warrant.
More about cispa, House of Representatives, Senate, USA, Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act
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