End the Lie

Senate committee representative: CISPA will almost certainly be shelved due to privacy concerns

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By End the Lie

(Image credit: cliff1066/Flickr)

(Image credit: cliff1066/Flickr)

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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3 Responses to Senate committee representative: CISPA will almost certainly be shelved due to privacy concerns

  1. Art Mcfadden April 25, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    Where do you stand on GMO issues and the bill that Obama enacted that protects GMO producing organizations?

  2. Joel April 26, 2013 at 2:54 AM

    CISPA has been controversial even before. I think someone will still pursue bills like this but the netizen won’t stay still if there’s a harm about their internet freedom.

  3. Nora April 27, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    CISPA needs to stay shelved, although there’s no guarantee it will just because a senate spokesperson says it will. There is no privacy on the net, every key stroke is monitored, every email is read by our overly nosy government. Our data is mined and sold without our knowledge or consent. We need to start our own net and keep them off of it, and block the collection of data for profit.


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