Senate committee representative: CISPA will almost certainly be shelved due to privacy concerns
By End the Lie
The highly controversial Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which passed the House 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.
This comes the day after it was revealed that the government is already carrying out activities like those legitimized under CISPA by issuing so-called 2511 letters. CISPA would have given programs that may currently be illegal a solid legal foothold.
However, it seems that it very well may be dead, at least according to the unnamed committee representative along with Senator Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, and Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel for the ACLU.
“We’re not taking [CISPA] up,” the committee representative said, according to U.S. News. “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.”
Rockefeller previously said the passage of CISPA was “important,” but the legislation’s “privacy protections are insufficient.”
As CNET points out, “Rockefeller’s comments are significant as he takes up the lead on the Commerce Committee, which will be the first branch of the Senate that will debate its own cybersecurity legislation.”
“I think it’s dead for now,” Richardson said. “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.”
However, the comment from the committee representative seems to indicate that regardless of the fate of CISPA, the “key provisions” will be passed one way or another. These key provisions are incredibly problematic.
According to Richardson, it will likely be at least three months before the Senate votes on new 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,” Richardson said. “I think this is probably going to take the rest of the year.”
Hopefully Richardson is right about the long timeframe but the unfortunate reality is that programs almost identical to those that would be authorized under CISPA are already going on.
Regardless, legislation like CISPA giving blanket authorization to otherwise illegal programs should continue to be opposed. Richardson couldn’t be more correct about staying vigilant.
It is almost certain that if CISPA dies in the Senate in its second incarnation, it will be resurrected in one form or another to be pushed again.
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