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Government Surveillance

Civil Liberties Fears Doom House Cybersecurity Bill

The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto a House bill that would allow private companies to share information about computer security threats with government agencies, signaling once again how difficult it is to balance civil liberties and security interests in the digital era.

A similar bill, the Cyberintelligence Sharing and Protection Act, known as Cispa, passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives last year. It too faced a veto threat from the Obama Administration, along with outcry from civil liberties groups that feared that the government would use it to snoop on private citizens. This year, sponsors of the bill, House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat from Maryland, tweaked the language in a bid to satisfy critics. The House is expected to vote on the bill this week.