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Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 (CISPA)

Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) of 2011 is a proposed United States federal law that would allow for the sharing of Web data between the government and technology companies. Authors of the bill state that it will help the government to contend with cyberterrorism and cyberwarfare.

CISPA has garnered favor from large corporations including Symantec, Microsoft and Facebook, as well as from various government agencies, all of whom share concerns about international cybersecurity. Some people (proponents and critics alike) interpret CISPA as a second attempt at strengthening digital piracy laws after the failure of SOPA and PIPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act). 

CISPA has been criticized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union as a threat to personal and business communications privacy. Some critics argue that a lack of clarity in the bill could lead to unjustified shutting-down of Web sites or massive eavesdropping on private communications.

CISPA was introduced on November 30, 2011 by U.S. Representative Michael Rogers (R-MI) as H.R. 3523 and was passed in the House of Representatives on April 26, 2012. The bill is in effect an amendment to the National Security Act of 1947, which contains no provisions pertaining to cybercrime.

This was last updated in June 2012

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