The US House of Representatives has passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Cispa), said to be designed to help US companies and government agencies better protect themselves from hackers and cyberattacks.
The cybersecurity bill was passed by a 288-127 vote with an increased majority from the first passage last April,and will now move to the Senate and then to the US President, Barack Obama.
Cispa will allow US authorities to ask companies to share classified cyber threat information.
Various US companies and trade associations, including Facebook, the US Chamber of Commerce, Boeing, AT&T, utilities groups, Intel, tech associations, and many others are in favour of the bill.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation had earlier urged the House to make an amendment which would have enabled companies to make a privacy contract with their customers. Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff attorney Kurt Opsahl said that CISPA is a poorly drafted bill that will usher in a gaping exception to privacy law.
"While we all agree that our nation needs to address pressing Internet security issues, this bill sacrifices online privacy while failing to take common-sense steps to improve security," Opsahl said.
Earlier this year, Obama signed an executive order to strengthen the cybersecurity of the country to protect its critical infrastructure from cyber attacks. Obama said cyber attacks are a real threat to America’s economy and security.