Less than four hours after Congressman Ben Quayle let New Times know he'd be introducing an amendment to address privacy concerns in the latest controversial Internet-related bill, he did -- and it passed less than an hour ago.
Quayle's amendment to address privacy concerns in the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or "CISPA" passed by a vote of 410-3, The bill itself passed the House a few minutes ago by a healthy margin.
Quayle is one of the 112 co-sponsors of the bill that has online communities in a tizzy and is being compared to the shelved "SOPA" and "PIPA" bills, which led to outrage on the Internet, with sites shutting down for the day in protest of censorship concerns.
While SOPA was supposed to mainly target intellectual property on the Internet, CISPA allows private companies to share information with the government in the name of perceived "cyber threats" -- which led to the concerns about the broad scope of information about what people are doing online that companies could turn over to the government.
With that concern, Quayle offered his amendment today to attempt to make stricter "limitations on how the government can use the information it collects."
Here's how a House report describes Quayle's amendment (the actual text isn't much different):
Would limit government use of shared cyber threat information to only 5 purposes: (1) cybersecurity; (2) investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crimes; (3) protection of individuals from the danger of death or physical injury; (4) protection of minors from physical or psychological harm; and (5) protection of the national security of the United States.
Quayle's explanation of the amendment on the House floor wasn't much different from what he said this morning, saying that it "significantly narrows" the types of information the government can use, and has to have a "direct tie to cybersecurity."
It probably won't quell the critics -- who seem to rely on all three people watching C-SPAN to tell them what happens -- but Quayle did deliver, or made an attempt to deliver, additional privacy protections to the bill.
Of course, you won't really know how Quayle's changes work out unless the bill -- which has already received a veto threat from the White House -- is passed into law, and that section of the law becomes an issue.
The bill passed the House 248-468, and of the congressmen from Arizona, Quayle, Trent Franks, and Jeff Flake voted yes, while the other five (including Quayle's primary opponent, David Schweikert) voted no.
Click here to read up on the technical details of CISPA.