updated 07:10 pm EDT, Thu April 26, 2012
Congress passes CISPA after amendments
Congress late Thursday passed an amended CISPA bill. The vote was cleared by a 248 to 168 vote, with those in favor largely Republican. Among the changes were limiting the conditions under which information could be handed to the government, Freedom of Information Act protections, and an attachment that would have given the Department of Homeland Security more power to watch the Internet.
The vote was unexpectedly moved up after having originally been tabled for Friday.
A strong chance exists that, despite the passage, the Internet security bill might be rejected. The measure still has to pass a Senate vote. If successful, President Obama has warned that he would likely veto the bill if it wasn't significantly limited. It's unknown if the updated measure would meet with approval.
CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, is officially intended to help authorities get information about Internet attacks and security threats. As originally phrased, though, concerns existed that it would give authorities too vague a pretext for collecting information. Worries still persist that information would go to the CIA and NSA, even for attacks that weren't matters of national security.