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U.S. House of Representatives passes controversial cybersecurity bill

On 18 April 2013, Internet freedom advocates everywhere turned their eyes to the U.S. House of Representatives as that legislative body considered the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.

For the second year in a row, the House voted to approve CISPA, a bill that would allow companies to bypass all existing privacy law to spy on communications and pass sensitive user data to the government. EFF condemns the vote in the House and vows to continue the fight in the Senate.

"CISPA is a poorly drafted bill that would provide a gaping exception to bedrock privacy law,” EFF Senior Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl said. “While we all agree that our nation needs to address pressing Internet security issues, this bill sacrifices online privacy while failing to take common-sense steps to improve security."

The legislation passed 288-127, despite a veto threat from Pres. Barack Obama, who expressed serious concerns about the danger CISPA poses to civil liberties.

"This bill undermines the privacy of millions of Internet users,” said Rainey Reitman, EFF Activism Director. “Hundreds of thousands of Internet users opposed this bill, joining the White House and Internet security experts in voicing concerns about the civil liberties ramifications of CISPA. We're committed to taking this fight to the Senate and fighting to ensure no law which would be so detrimental to online privacy is passed on our watch.”

EFF extends its deep gratitude to the many organizations that have worked with us on this campaign and the tens of thousand of EFF members who helped us by contacting Congress to oppose CISPA. We look forward to continuing to fight by your side in defense of civil liberties as CISPA moves to the Senate.

What other IFEX members are saying
  • CISPA: Who benefits from ‘dangerously vague’ bill?

    About 900 websites were shut down in protest against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). Hacking group Anonymous called for the “blackout” in order to stop the bill, which the group slammed as an attempt to “control and censor the internet.”

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  • Tell Obama: Stand up for Internet privacy!

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation started a petition in March asking US President Barack Obama to veto CISPA, a bill that was subsequently passed by the House of Representatives in April.