Congress recently voted in favor of a bill that would allow online security companies to communicate detected and suspected threats to the government to help fight cybercrime. Opponents of the bill have contended that the legislation actually is just a means of internet surveillance.
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, is a voluntary disclosure program and will not require businesses to give out user information. If voted into law, the bill would give online security vendors more support in protecting user data and online backup software and provide two-way communication between federal agencies and the public on web security. According to the Los Angeles Times, CISPA was originally fueled by reports that the Chinese were hacking U.S. websites to monitor business activity and user accounts.
The Washington Post reported that some civil liberties groups were afraid CISPA would give the National Security Agency access to private online communication or could grant it access to private files stored on online backup platforms. In a statement from the White House, President Obama agreed that the scope of the bill was too far reaching and unless concessions and amendments were made, the legislation would never make it to law.