Last night, after nearly seven hours of debate, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 248-168. CISPA is intended to protect websites and the government from hackers by giving internet companies the authority to reveal users’ confidential records without facing legal action. The bill also allows the government to share classified information with companies to help protect computer networks to improve the government’s and private companies’ ability to share information about possible security threats from China and other countries. But opponents have critiqued the bill as being too broad and vague about what it would regulate as a cybersecurity threat and for infringing too much on privacy.
CISPA still has to pass the Senate; as of yet, there is not a corresponding bill. The Senate is working on a bipartisan bill that instead calls for the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to create regulations that would protect “critical infrastructure” such as the “electric power grid, water and sewer systems, transportation hubs and financial service networks,” says the New York Times. On Wednesday, the Office of Management and Budget had said that it recommended a presidential veto on CISPA.