US House of Representatives ignores Obama veto threat by passing CISPA

The US House of Representatives has passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), defying a threat by the White House to veto the bill.

The US House of Representatives has passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), defying a threat by the White House to veto the bill.

 
The Act was approved by a vote of 248 for and 168 against, leading supporters of the bill to claim that it has the support of Republicans and Democrats alike.
 
The bill allows for federal agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA), which already eavesdrops overseas in efforts to protect American interests, to share secret cyber threat information with US companies to help protect against attacks.
 
It does not appear that cybersecurity is the issue, however, but rather the sweeping powers given and the potential for the abuse of user privacy on the internet, a concern held by numerous internet-based firms which might be forced to share information.
 
While advocates of CISPA have attempted to differentiate it from the equally controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), critics like Demand Progress and the Centre for Democracy and Technology believe it is equally damaging to online privacy.
 
 US House of Representatives ignores Obama veto threat by passing CISPA
 
The White House does not approve of CISPA, however, which it claims does not provide important safeguards for privacy, confidentiality and civil liberties. It criticised the broad nature of the sharing of information that would be allowed under the law and the legal immunity offered to prevent privacy and antitrust lawsuits when companies comply with the new rules.
 
The White House wants a different bill to be passed, one authored by Senator John Rockefeller and supported by the majority of Democrats in the Democrat-controlled Senate. It allows for the Department of Homeland Security to order companies that maintain critical infrastructure, such as water and power facilities, to meet higher standards of security. This follows numerous reports about the threat to such essential infrastructure.
 
US President Barack Obama has the power to veto the bill, and while traditionally this presidential power is avoided as much as possible, it may be employed in the unlikely even that CISPA is also passed in the Senate.
 
Source: Reuters