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US House passes controversial CISPA cybersecurity bill, now on to the Senate

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The US House of Representatives has just passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (HR 3523) by a vote of 248 to 168.

US Capitol 5 (Verge Stock)
US Capitol 5 (Verge Stock)

The US House of Representatives has just passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA (HR 3523) by a vote of 248 to 168. The bill passed mostly along party lines, backed by House Republicans. While the bill is intended to safeguard the US against "cyber threats," critics say that it is too vague and broad, and would give government and military intelligence agencies the ability to inspect private data without the use of warrants. While the bill hasn't garnered the same level of outrage as SOPA did in recent months from companies like Google or Facebook (Facebook supports CISPA), web advocates have been vocal in their opposition to the bill.

The Obama administration has already strongly opposed CISPA and threatened to veto it, so it's not likely that this particular version of the bill will pass. The White House says that the bill lacks civilian oversight and privacy protections, and that "without clear legal protections and independent oversight, information sharing legislation will undermine the public's trust in the government as well as in the internet by undermining fundamental privacy, confidentiality, civil liberties, and consumer protections." Still, the White House has signaled that it is interested in some form of cyber security bill, so this won't likely be its final act.

We'll be covering CISPA in more detail, and will let you know what happens to the bill on the Senate side in the coming days. Be sure to check the final vote results if you would like to see how your representative voted.