CISPA Passes House: Senate Next Stop for Internet Spying Bill
CISPA Passes House
CISPA, the poorly-structured "cybersecurity" bill making its way through US Congress, passed its first hurdle, passing the House with a 248-168 vote. The House CISPA vote came a day early, and featured a modified CISPA with even more vague language.
For example, CISPA defines intellectual property theft, itself vaguely codified in online terms, as a "cyberattack". If you thought DMCA takedowns were frivolous, this will make you cringe. Pinterest, for example, could be taken down overnight due to its use of thumbnails.
While CISPA has "bipartisan support", support is mostly from Republicans and opposition is mostly from Democrats. The breakdown of the House CISPA vote was as follows:
- Republicans: 206 in favor, 28 opposed
- Democrats: 42 in favor, 140 opposed
Few politicians spoke publicly about CISPA one way or another, most likely because most politicians don't actually understand CISPA in the first place. One of the only members of Congress to publicly oppose CISPA is Ron Paul.
CISPA and the Fourth Amendment
CISPA would basically erase all privacy rights online, and would render the Fourth Amendment null and void on the internet. One would think that more Republicans, conservative by nature, would be less cavalier about chucking aside the Fourth Amendment, but here we are.
One would also think that, in 2012, our elected representatives would have a more solid understanding of this thing called the internet, but... here we are.
What Next for CISPA
CISPA now heads for a Senate vote in slightly unfriendlier waters: the Senate is Democrat-controlled.
Should CISPA pass the Senate, it heads for President Barack Obama's desk; Obama has threatened to veto CISPA. This is a wise move during election season: signing CISPA into law would alienate digital natives, whom the Obama campaign is actively wooing.