The US House of Representatives has passed the CISPA online spying law in a vote greater than last year’s margin and enough to override a veto.
Lawmakers in the House voted Thursday by a 288-127 margin to accept the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protect Act(CISPA) - which allows companies the right to spy on communications and submit customers’ personal information to the federal government. “The idea that they can get a hold of financial information, medical information, emails, other personal information about a person is just outrageous. It’s simply outrageous! There’s no justification what - so - ever, ” said Carla Howell, executive director with the National Libertarian Party. The federal government has a reckless history of encouraging bills that call for restrictions in online privacy including the failed SOPA and PIPA propositions, the libertarian advocate said.
“There’s been - especially in the last 15 years or so - a push to invade our privacy. It’s been going on a long time but it’s been particularly bad in the last 10,15 years with the passage of the PATRIOT Act - revisions, expansions of the PATRIOT Act - NDAA and now the CISPA, ” said Howell.
Meanwhile, proponents said the bill aims to reduce the number of attacks against computer networks in the US including those belonging to private companies who possess intellectual property and other sensitive trade secrets. The Senate floor is slated to debate and then vote on the bill. If passed in the Senate, the bill will head next to the desk of US President Barack Obama to be signed into law. However, White House advisers warned they would recommend the president veto the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the bill, saying that it would create a loophole in all existing privacy laws and allow companies to share Internet users’ data with the National Security Agency, part of the Department of Defense, and the biggest spy agency in the world - without any legal oversight.