Number:House Vote #192 [primary source: house.gov]Date:Apr 26, 2012 (112th Congress)Result:PassedRelated Bill:H.R. 3523: Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act
Introduced by Rep. Michael “Mike” Rogers [R-MI8] on November 30, 2011
Current Status: Reported by Committee
The US House of Representatives has just passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA (HR 3523) by a vote of 248 to 168. The bill passed mostly along party lines, backed by House Republicans. While the bill is intended to safeguard the US against “cyber threats,” critics say that it is too vague and broad, and would give government and military intelligence agencies the ability to inspect private data without the use of warrants. While the bill hasn’t garnered the same level of outrage asSOPA did in recent months from companies like Google or Facebook (Facebook supports CISPA), web advocates have been vocal in their opposition to the bill.
WHO VOTED WHAT?
Break down by state.
It looks like Massachusetts wins–all NOs.
- 206 Yes
- 28 No
- 42 Yes
- 140 No
Up until this afternoon, the final vote on CISPA was supposed to be tomorrow. Then, abruptly, it was moved up today—and the House voted in favor of its passage with a vote of 248-168. But that’s not even the worst part.
The vote followed the debate on amendments, several of which were passed. Among them was an absolutely terrible change (pdf and embedded below—scroll to amendment #6) to the definition of what the government can do with shared information, put forth by Rep. Quayle. Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government’s power, even though it in fact expands it by adding more items to the list of acceptable purposes for which shared information can be used. Even more astonishingly, it passed with a near-unanimous vote. The CISPA that was just approved by the House is much worse than the CISPA being discussed as recently as this morning.
Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for “cybersecurity” or “national security” purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.
Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a “cybersecurity crime”. Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government’s power.
Somehow, incredibly, this was described as limiting CISPA, but it accomplishes the exact opposite. This is very, very bad.
I just the following letter to my IL senators (Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk):
I am writing to you to ask that you vote NO on the upcoming bill, CISPA, which just passed the vote in the House of Representatives by a 248 to 168 vote. I do not like anything that I see in the bill in its current form, but some of my biggest concerns are:
- Huge expansion of government power, essentially creating a legal channel for spying on its own population - Lack of privacy controls (any and all information can and will be disclosed to the “authorities” should the bill pass in its current form) - No safeguards that the system this bill would create won’t be used and abused by those with the authority to use the powers it grants
Please consider these 3 points carefully before you decide which way to vote. Bills such as this one, and SOPA before it, make me feel extremely uncomfortable about my own government. Just thinking that somebody might be reading all of my personal communications with my friends or relatives sends shivers up my spine.
I hate to put it this way, but unless you can show me that you understand my point of view (and I’m sure countless other similar ones), I will not be able to justify voting for YOU to represent ME in the U.S. Senate.
Feel free to use this as a template when contacting YOUR senators (and I hope you do contact them)