April 23, 2012 – Congress is considering a number of cybersecurity bills in late April, with the House's H.R. 3523 - Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a bill that would make it easier for companies and the government to share information about cyber threats, receiving the most attention. The House Rules Committee has set a Tuesday deadline for House members to submit amendments to CISPA and floor action is expected later this week.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Center for Democracy & Technology are spearheading a campaign in opposition to the bill, which they say contains overly broad language that may infringe on privacy rights and allow the government to obtain information for criminal prosecutions otherwise requiring a warrant. Supporters of the bill emphasize that information sharing is voluntary under CISPA and say current laws leave them vulnerable both to cyber threats and to lawsuits stemming from breaches of privacy and antitrust laws.
CISPA sponsors Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) have made changes to the bill that they say will address the concerns of privacy groups. However, some lawmakers have been offering alternative cybersecurity bills, such as H.R. 3674 from Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), S. 2151 from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and S. 2105 from Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT). The Center for Democracy & Technology has compiled a chart comparing the competing bills according to their implications for privacy law.
MapLight has conducted an analysis of campaign contributions to members of Congress from interest groups that have stated explicit support or opposition to CISPA.
House of Representatives
Between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2011, interest groups that support CISPA, including Defense aerospace contractors, Cable & satellite TV production & distribution, Computer software, Cellular systems and equipment, and Online computer services, have given a total of $31,505,583 to current members of the House of Representatives. This amount is 12 times as much as Democratic/Liberal; Museums, art galleries, libraries; Human Rights; Consumer groups; and other interests that oppose the bill gave in the same time period ($2,542,599).
Companies Supporting CISPA
MapLight has conducted an analysis of selected companies supporting CISPA and their contributions to members of Congress. The listed organizations are amongst the top contributors to the campaigns of elected members of Congress since 2007. For more detailed information, go to MapLight's Company pages by clicking on the name of the company. All contribution figures below are from January 1, 2007 – June 30, 2011, and include contributions from the companies and their employees to elected members of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
- AT&T has given a total of $24,550,977, making it the second largest contributing company to members of Congress.
- Boeing has given a total of $15,611,994.
- Exelon has given a total of $6,465,801.
- Lockheed Martin has given a total of $16,072,404.
- Microsoft has given a total of $12,690,753.
- National Cable & Telecommunications Association has given a total of $9,612,219.
METHODOLOGY: Includes reported contributions to the congressional campaigns of House members in office during the 112th U.S. Congress from interest groups taking a position on H.R. 3523 , according to MapLight, July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2011. Individual company contribution totals are to elected members of Congress from January 1, 2007 – June 30, 2011. Contributions data source: OpenSecrets.org.