A controversial cyber security bill named CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) passed the U.S. House of Representatives late Thursday.
Supporters say the bill is a key step toward protecting American companies from hackers. Opponents claim it’s a privacy nightmare, ineffective, or both.
Civil liberties groups say broad language in the bill could permit the U.S. military or NSA to access civilians’ private data.
What the bill on the table proposes:
CISPA would allow the government to share classified intelligence about potential cyber threats withcompanies who meet the government’s requirements.
Companies who receive the classified information would be protected from liability if they do get hacked.
It also allows companies to share information that they’ve gathered about potential threats with the government — this is the part that makes privacy advocates nervous.
Why privacy advocates think CISPA is dangerous:
Civil liberties groups are concerned that the bill would allow companies to share private consumer information with the government, under the guise of sharing information about potential hacker threats.
The bill is written so broadly that companies can read emails and communications and pass them along to the government with no warrant, with no judicial oversight whatsoever.