Last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (“CISPA.”) Proponents of CISPA say it is a bill that increases the government’s ability to respond to cyber threats and cyber attacks by sharing private customer information between itself and companies. Opponents of the bill argue that it is a serious violation of their right to privacy, and does not actually serve to combat cyber attacks. Rather, they claim, the bill would allow the government to “spy” on American citizens.
A last minute amendment to CISPA was attempted by U.S. Representative Ed Perlmutter, that would have banned employers from requiring employees to share the login information for their social media accounts. The House members rejected the proposed amendment by a vote of 224-189, and passed the bill without Rep. Perlmutter’s amendments. The bill now has to be heard by the Senate.
On a related note, another bill that is pending before the U.S. House of Representatives is the Social Networking Online Protection Act (“SNOPA”), which also proposes to prohibit employers and certain other entities from requiring or requesting that employees and certain other individuals provide a user name, password, or other means for accessing a personal account on any social networking website. This same exact bill was introduced in 2012, but was not given much attention. For this year, govtrack.us is giving this bill a 1% chance of making it out of committee, and a 0% chance of being enacted into law.
As noted in a prior blog post, seven states have already enacted such a law. Hawaii heard similar bills during the current legislative session, including HB 713 HD2 SD1, but all of those bills are dead.
While we’re on the subject, some humor: