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Congress plans to alter CISPA to allay fears

updated 08:30 pm EDT, Tue April 24, 2012

CISPA would curv government access

US Congress representatives Dutch Ruppersberger and Mike Rogers revealed Tuesday that they were changing the controversial CISPA bill to defuse some of the complaints about overreach. Amendments would limit information the government could get about Internet security to specific cases, such as rogue attacks, criminal investigations, safeguards against national security and theft issues, or child porn.

The changes would further narrow the scope of what threat data represented and limit the amount of immunity from lawsuits a company would get for handing over information, and prevent the government from using the information for any time or subject beyond the immediate circumstances that required it.

One of the key opponents, the Center for Democracy and Technology, has complimented the new changes but has also argued that the types of information requested should be limited strictly to online security. Concerns exist that the vagueness of some of the legal allowances could see information collected under thin pretenses of national security or protecting children.

The measure would also let the CIA and NSA get information, even if its conditions weren't directly related to national security. Although unstated by the CDT, concerns over earlier issues like warrantless wiretapping have raised worries that these agencies might hold on to information for alternative motives.

Changes to CISPA still contrast sharply with those made to another controversial bill, SOPA, which saw few alterations and was ultimately put on a virtually permanent hold after a public outcry. The amendments might not defuse all criticism, but could lead to the bill surviving as a compromise. [via The Hill]

by MacNN Staff



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