We reported yesterday that CISPA was finally shaping up. Rep. Mike McCaul introduced an amendment late into the game that would have forced companies to share customers’ private information only with the Department of Homeland Security. It sounded too good to be true. Unfortunately, it was.ci
The Hill reports that the amendment we saw yesterday is entirely different from the amendment that actually wound up in the bill. The amendment has been stripped of its requirement that companies only share information with the DHS. With that requirement gone, the amendment is worthless. It’s only purpose now is to make it seem like CISPA actually respects your privacy.
Needless to say, pro-privacy groups are not happy. The EFF wrote a scathing review of the amendment last night:
The amendment in question does not strike or amend the part of CISPA that actually deals with data flowing from companies to other entities, including the federal government. The bill still says that: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a self-protected entity may, for cybersecurity purposes…share such cyber threat information with any other entity, including the Federal Government.” The liability immunity provisions also remain.
While this amendment does change a few things about how that information is treated within the government, it does not amend the primary sharing section of the bill and thus would not prevent companies from sharing data directly with military intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency if they so choose.
The amendment looks bad, and it will probably remain that way. That being said, there might be some changes made to it and the overall bill today before it heads to the floor for final vote. A House aide reportedly said that the sponsors of this latest amendment are in discussions to fix the language in it. If that was the case, why did they change the original text of the amendment that actually did some good? Are they just going to change the amendment back to what it was?
At this point, it’s hard to believe that we’ll actually see any positive changes in CISPA. After all, the bill’s sponsors believe that only 14-year-olds hate CISPA.