CISPA resurrected, heading back to Congress

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, also known as CISPA, is back from the dead thanks to a couple of US lawmakers.

The bill was drafted to give US companies a bit more protection against lawsuits, by allowing them to collect and share more user data. The idea is that CISPA will help curb security threats, with the added benefit of undermining privacy.

Last year, the bill passed a House of Representatives vote, with a few guarantees that it would not grossly violate privacy rights, but violating them just a bit seems fine. However, the Senate refused to pass the bill, which has been stuck in legislative limbo ever since.

Now though, the unpopular bill is scheduled for a new vote. Venture Beat reports that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) will reintroduce CISPA this Wednesday. What’s more, the revamped bill is not the amended version which was not passed by the Senate, which means it is even worse than the first time around.

However, CISPA is facing strong opposition from privacy groups and activists. Non-profit group Fight for the Future has created a website listing contact information for each lawmaker who cosigned the last version of the bill, a list of companies that support the new bill and a few fun facts about the bill itself.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Mozilla, the American Civil Liberties Union, Reporters Without Borders and a host of other organisations and individuals have voiced concerns over CISPA so far and the list is set to expand. However, it does not seem very likely that the bill will have much luck on the Senate floor. Republicans, who control the House and tend to support CISPA, failed to seize control of the Senate in the 2012 election, so the outcome should be the same this time around, unless lobbyists did a very good job in the meantime.