CISPA bill is on its last legs

Posted by Nick Farrell

A US cyber security bill which gave all sorts of power for private companies to share data with the government seems set to die in the senate.

The US Senate will  almost certainly kill a controversial cyber security bill, recently passed by the House, according to a US Senate Committee member.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation warned that CISPA's privacy protections were "insufficient" and the Senate will not take up the law. The White House has also said the President won't sign the House bill.

It is not surprising as the law was truly daft. Not only was it unlikely to stop cyber threats it did all sorts of strange things.

Firstly it let the government spy on internet connections without a warrant, and prevented those spied on ever finding out about it. It also protected corporates from legal action if they had done anything stupid with your data. It had a provision which meant that corporates could attack another company or hacker in self defence.

Staff and senators are understood to be "drafting separate bills" that will maintain the cybersecurity information sharing while preserving civil liberties and privacy rights.

According to ZDNet, Rockefeller's comments were 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.

Michelle Richardson, legislative council with the American Civil Liberties Union, said it was fairly clear that CISPA is "dead for now," and said the Senate will "probably pick up where it left off last year".

Civil liberties groups dubbed CISPA a "privacy killer" and "dangerously vague," and warned that it may be in breach of the Fourth Amendment.