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Grayson Amendment Aimed at Protecting Fourth Amendment Rights

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Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Alan Grayson (FL-09) offered an amendment aimed at improving H.R. 624 "Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act' (CISPA) in the House Committee on Rules yesterday.

Grayson's amendment intended to protect Americans from cyber-security-related searches without a warrant, in keeping with the United States Constitution. The Fourth Amendment requires the government to obtain a warrant prior to conducting searches and seizures.

CISPA adds provisions to the National Security Act of 1947 related to cyber threat intelligence and information-sharing. The legislation has raised considerable privacy concerns amongst civil liberties groups, who worry that CISPA lacks provisions requiring the government to obtain a warrant when conducting searches based on cyber threat intelligence. The Obama Administration announced yesterday that it would not support CISPA in its current form, because of privacy concerns.

Despite these concerns, the House Committee on Rules rejected Grayson's amendment, and offered no explanation for its rejection. Amendments remain possible before tomorrow's CISPA vote, though.

Grayson expressed disappointment over the committee's decision. "I offered a simple, straightforward amendment that would have protected American citizens from unreasonable and unconstitutional searches by the government under CISPA," he said. "I'm disappointed that the Rules Committee refused even to allow this important amendment to be voted upon by the full House of Representatives."


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