House Intelligence Committee Releases Discussion Draft of CISPA

Policy Update

This afternoon, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a revised discussion draft version (text here) of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA — a piece of important cybersecurity legislation. We in the startup community raised concerns about the bill’s broadly defined terms, which posed a potential threat to innovation. Others even drew comparisons with SOPA and PIPA. In this draft, substantive changes have been made which, in our eyes, have significantly improved the bill.

We raised concerns — specifically around the inclusion of intellectual property, definitions around private and government information, and regulatory burdens for small business — directly with the Committee and with the office of Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI). The Committee has taken into consideration our concerns as well as others from the community and has released a revised version of the bill. The new version preserves CISPA’s stated purpose of protecting networks and systems and preventing theft of information from these networks, while enhancing clarity around the focus of the bill.

The willingness of the Committee to work with those in our community was heartening. We were able to craft legislation that protects sensitive data — such as Research and Development and financial records — without including provisions that are harmful to technology startups.

Engine is committed to acting in the best interests of our community, and that includes protection of the critical infrastructure and networks upon which our companies are built. With these changes in place, Engine no longer opposes the legislation. We will continue to monitor CISPA through the amendment process to ensure that these changes stick so that our community is protected and innovation can thrive.