House Passes CISPA Online Spying Law

288-127 Vote Sets Stage for Senate Battle

Ignoring major public opposition from civil liberties groups, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) by a 288-127 margin, greater than last year’s margin and enough to override a veto.

Among other things, CISPA allows companies to bypass existing privacy laws so long as they are sharing information with the US government. Privacy experts warn that the law will allow the government virtually unlimited surveillance of Americans’ online habits.

CISPA, initially introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R – MI) in 2011, passed through the House with a solid majority in 2012 as well, but failed to become a law when there was insufficient support for the vote in the Senate.

So far there is no timetable for a Senate vote, and privacy groups promise to lobby heavily to see that it never moves on to the President. Though President Obama has threatened to veto CISPA, it is unclear if he actually would.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of