Could CISPA Be the Next SOPA?

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) bill introduced to the House of Representatives late last year could become the centerpiece of the next SOPA-style struggle between the tech community and Washington, D.C.
The bill already has over 100 co-sponsors and the backing of some of Silicon Valley’s most prominent companies, including Microsoft and Facebook.
CISPA would allow private businesses and the government to share information about cyberthreats — including “efforts to degrade, disrupt or destroy” vital networks or “threat or misappropriation” of information owned by the government or private businesses, such as intellectual property.
To ensure that business-government information sharing happens on a two-way basis, CISPA requires the Director of National Intelligence to set up ways for the intelligence community to pass along threat information to private companies and make sure they actually go ahead and do that. To prevent sensitive information from being shared willy-nilly, CISPA requires that any recipient of such threat reports have a security clearance and a valid need for the information.
Finally, CISPA allows third-party cybersecurity firms (which provide cyber protection to the government and private businesses) to “use cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information in order to protect the rights and property” of their clients. They’re also allowed to share that information with any other business or government department, provided their client gives them permission to do so.
Rep. Mike Rodgers (R-Mich.), who introduced the bill along with Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), has framed CISPA as a bill to protect American intellectual property from state-sponsored digital theft of intellectual property.
According to the EFF, the language in CISPA is worded so broadly that it could be interpreted to allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and companies such as Google and Facebook to intercept your messages and transmit them to the government.
They also warn that CISPA could be used as a blunt instrument against copyright infringement, similar to concerns about SOPA. Finally, they’d rather not see the Director of National Intelligence in charge of information sharing — they feel a civilian position would provide for more transparency and accountability.