The US House of Representatives have passed an amended version of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), where the controversial act will now go through a second round of debates and voting at the Senate.

CISPA is a bill that allows for voluntary sharing of information between private companies and the US government in the event of a cyber attack, and was proposed as a defensive move against the rise of cyber attacks which may threaten the country in the future. On the other hand, critics have questioned that the bill may violate end-user privacy. Indeed, these privacy concerns was the main reason why the original CISPA bill failed to pass the Senate last year.

In response, some amendments were made to the original bill, such as specifying that companies can only share information to the government if they have details of a cyber attack. Another amendment prohibits companies from selling personal information after sharing them to the government.

Nevertheless, there are still detractors who are vehemently against the passing of the act. An anti-CISPA petition has over 157000 votes, while organizations such as Facebook and Microsoft have shied away from providing full support.

It must be noted that there is still a long way to go before the bill goes to President Obama’s desk for the final approval. If the Senate makes any change to the bill, it will go back to the House of Representatives for another round of voting. Finally, the White House also has the power to veto the bill altogether.

(Source: PC Mag)

(Image credit: The Verge)

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