April 17, 2013 | By rainey Reitman

Amendment Won't Stop Data Going to National Security Agency

Update: Note that the Hill article referenced below was working with an earlier draft of the amendment. The version introduced today was different from the version made available to the Hill.

An amendment to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) was just adopted on the House Floor. See the text attached.

Recent reporting of this amendment characterized it as a major privacy improvement, stating that this amendment "would ensure that the Homeland Security Department (DHS), a civilian agency, would be the first recipient of cyber threat data from companies."

This is false.

The amendment in question does not strike or amend the part of CISPA that actually deals with data flowing from companies to other entities, including the federal government. The bill still says that: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a self-protected entity may, for cybersecurity purposes...share such cyber threat information with any other entity, including the Federal Government." The liability immunity provisions also remain.

While this amendment does change a few things about how that information is treated within the government, it does not amend the primary sharing section of the bill and thus would not prevent companies from sharing data directly with military intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency if they so choose.

The bill may be voted on at any time. This means there’s little time left to speak out. Please tell your Representative to vote no on the bill:

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