Less than twenty-four hours after President Obama announced an executive order aimed at strengthening the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure and called for congressional action on cybersecurity in his State of the Union Address, Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) reintroduced the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) to the House.
CISPA caused widespread outcries from privacy and civil liberties advocates when it was considered in 2012 due to provisions that would in effect allow intelligence agencies a backdoor into the personal information of most Americans by allowing companies to share information about activities on their network with very little oversight. The version of the bill introduced for the 113th Congress is unchanged from the amended version from the 112th session, which President Obama threatened to veto. Indeed, press materials from the House Intelligence Committee say “the bill that was introduced today is identical to the ‘Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act’ (H.R. 3523) that passed the House by a strong bipartisan vote of 248-168 in April 2012.”
Online privacy advocates began organizing a response based on rumors of its revival earlier in the month, with Fight for the Future launching the site Cispaisback.com and Gregory T. Nojeim, Director of the Project on Freedom, Security & Technology at the Center for Democracy & Technology telling ThinkProgress “CISPA is deeply flawed” and recommending Members “seriously consider” if they wanted to re-open the debate over the bill.