A Basic Breakdown of CISPA

Are you ready for another round of internet security legislation?  Following the somewhat similar path of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is once again bringing web security to the forefront of national and legislative debate.  However, unlike SOPA, the newly proposed CISPA is directed towards total internet protection as an aide to national security, as opposed to putting a halt just on internet piracy.

The initial CISPA bill proposed last year passed in the House, but was subsequently shot down by the Senate.  Currently, this year’s revised version of the bill seems to be on the same trail to demolition, passing again through the House, but stalled at the Senate level.

What does CISPA entail?  Essentially, the bill would allow internet companies like Google to share users’ internet traffic in an attempt to identify cyber threats.  The Web has become an increasingly prevalent player in national security and as international relations heat up, digital networks have been identified as areas where we are most vulnerable.  Already this year information has come to light possibly tying China to a number of attacks on American organizations and businesses, followed by one of the largest cyber-attacks ever seen on a global scale.  

It is clear that we are in need of better measures to prevent against malicious cyber acts and shore up digital infrastructures essential to our national security.  However, opponents of the bill argue that there are not substantial protections stated in the proposed legislation to save against possible invasions of privacy.  Included amongst the detractors is the White House.  Advisors to the President have stated they would recommend he veto the bill, along the lines that as is, the bill does not hold entities accountable for removing personal information when sharing online data with the government.

There are clear dividing lines concerning CISPA.  Proponents believe sharing personal data is a small thing to sacrifice to better safeguarding power grids and economic entities vulnerable to digital attacks.  While others may agree, they feel more responsibility should be laid upon the shoulders of internet and technology companies that have amassed this wealth of private data.

We will keep a close eye on this legislation as it develops.  If you are wondering how this might affect your business we are happy to answer any questions you may have.