Good News! CISPA Dies In The Senate
Open Internet supporters and advocates for consumer privacy have, once again, eked out a narrow victory against those who would turn the Internet into the exclusive domain of government and corporate interest. Despite what appeared to be growing support for the odious legislation, The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act has apparently died in committee in the US Senate.
The bill, which ostensibly sought to update the 1947 National Security Act to deal with so-called ‘cyber terrorism’, sailed to passage last week in the House of Representatives by a disturbingly large margin. However, though controversy over CISPA never reached the level of the fight over SOPA and PIPA, privacy advocates were consistently critical of CISPA’s lack of protection for consumers’ private data, as well as the way it defined certain forms of copyright infringement as terrorism. President Barack Obama even issued a preemptive threat to veto the legislation unless privacy concerns were addressed.
In the end, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation agreed with the bill’s critics, with committee member Jay Rockefeller called the bill’s regard for consumer privacy “insufficient”. The committee will instead explore separate legislation to address cybersecurity issues, virtually guaranteeing that it will be many months before anything new is proposed.
Naturally, it’s a safe bet that around this time next year we will, once again, be battling back yet another attempt to gut the Internet. But for now, it’s enough to know that we keep winning.