The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to approve a controversial cyberthreat information-sharing bill, despite opposition from the White House and several privacy and digital rights groups. The House on Thursday voted 288 to 127 to approve the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a bill that would allow U.S. intelligence agencies to share cyberthreat information with private companies. It would also shield private companies that voluntarily share cyberthreat information with each other and with government agencies from privacy lawsuits brought by customers. The bill would still need to be passed by the U.S. Senate before heading to President
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Alliance of Businesses, Nonprofit Groups Seeks Update of Electronic Privacy Law
March 31, 2010
March 31, 2010, Los Angeles Times —
A group of businesses and advocacy organizations, including Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Tuesday that it is calling for an update to a decades-old privacy law it considers seriously outdated. The law governs how and when law enforcement agencies can access citizens' private electronic communications.
Dubbing itself Digital Due Process, the group said the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was written in a time before the Web had become a ubiquitous communications medium, where users around the world store huge amounts of personal information for years or even decades at a time.
Prosecutors and law enforcement frequently request e-mails and other online data when performing investigations, but private companies have argued that the guidelines for such requests have become too loose for their comfort.