The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, is a wide-ranging piece of cyber security legislation currently moving through U.S. legal channels. It passed the House of Representatives last week by a vote of 288 to 127, though one amendment that was tacked on to the legislation at the last minute was shot down. The amendment, proposed by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Co.), would have banned U.S. employers from requiring employees to hand over login information for their social media profiles.
“This is a very simple amendment that really does two things,” Perlmutter said before the vote took place on Thursday. “It helps the individual protect his right to privacy and it doesn’t allow the employer to impersonate that particular employee when other people are interacting with that person across social media platforms.”
Perlmutter attempted to pass this amendment before, attaching it to both an earlier version of the CISPA bill that was shot down in the Senate and the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012. “People have an expectation of privacy when using social media like Facebook and Twitter,” Perlmutter said when he first introduced the legislation in 2011. “They have an expectation that their right to free speech and religion will be respected when they use social media outlets.”
It’s doubtful that there will be any long-term implications of the amendment being voted down, though the stubborn refusal of legislators to give social media password privacy rights to users remains troubling, to say the least.
For more information about CISPA and why you should care, check out this article by PC Mag.