The US House of Representatives has endorsed a massive internet spying bill which enables corporations to share the private information of their users with the National Security Agency (NSA).
The bill, titled Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Cispa) and authored by Republican Mike Rogers, was passed on Thursday with 248 lawmakers - 42 Democrats and 206 Republicans - voting in favor and 140 Democratic legislators voting against it, the Guardian
Rogers had reportedly received USD 103,000 during his election campaigns from 12 companies which lobbied for Cispa.
The bill was endorsed in the face of harsh criticism from civil liberties group and the White House.
US President Barack Obama, who had earlier denounced Cispa as a step towards violation of internet users’ rights and restriction of internet freedom, has threatened to veto the legislation if passed by the Senate.
Obama’s diatribe against the bill comes despite the warnings of the White House senior security advisors that believe organized cyber threats have exposed the US governmental bodies to serious risks and that organized hackers can paralyze the US financial organizations.
The critics have warned that Cispa breaches users' privacy rights under the pretext of protecting the “cybersecurity.”
The legislation comes after two other controversial bills, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), were scraped amid the outcries of free speech advocates.