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CISPA passes committee, will head to the House floor for a vote

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In an 18-2 vote behind closed doors, the House Intelligence Committee passed the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) cybersecurity bill. While the bill's final text is still unknown, The Hill reports that a number of amendments supported by the bill's sponsors were approved during markup, including one change that would require the government to remove personal information from "cyber threat" data they receive from private companies. The Hill also reports that the committee removed a provision from CISPA that would allow the government to use data from private companies for broad "national security purposes."

CISPA has been criticized by the public and tech industry companies including Facebook and Microsoft. The White House has yet to fulfill a response to an anti-CISPA petition that received over 100,000 signatures. While President Obama has taken his own measures this year to promote cybersecurity information sharing, including an executive order that allows the government to share more information on cyber threats with private companies, his administration threatened last year to veto CISPA if it passed Congress.

The bill still has a long way to go before becoming law, and must be voted on by the full House -- something The Hill says is expected to happen next week. From there, CISPA will need to be taken up by the Senate (which failed to act on the bill last year), before heading to the president.