House Votes for CISPA
After some high-level sparring between President Obama and John Boehner, the House on Thursday easily passed a cybersecurity bill that still faces stiff obstacles to becoming law.
The 248-168 vote split heavily, but not entirely, along party lines, with 28 Republicans defecting to oppose the measure and 42 Democrats supporting it. The vote capped a year of development and a furious month of dispute over the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, and drew a last-minute veto threat from the president.
Over the past several weeks, CISPA faced heated opposition from civil-liberties and online-privacy advocates concerned about language that they feared would allow private information to be shared with the government and potentially used for purposes beyond CISPA’s stated goal of promoting cybersecurity. Last-minute amendments by Rep. Mike Rogers (D-MI) incorporated some of the changes sought by these groups. But they “didn’t go nearly far enough,” in the words of Trevor Timm, an activist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the groups that has been at the forefront of opposition.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing that it passed,” said Timm. “It was clear that momentum was in our favor, and that’s probably why Rogers moved up the vote.” A vote on the bill was originally scheduled for Friday.