Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

How CISPA Opponents Were Outspent by Industry Lobbyists, 38 to 1 How CISPA Opponents Were Outspent by Industry Lobbyists, 38 to 1

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Tech

How CISPA Opponents Were Outspent by Industry Lobbyists, 38 to 1

In the cybersecurity fight, one side has the money, but so far it can't get it's way.

+

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., left, and and the committee's ranking Democrat, Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, D-Md., are two of CISPA's biggest backers. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Last week, the House approved CISPA, the House cybersecurity bill that’s long rankled privacy advocates -- not to mention the White House, which issued a presidential veto threat in response to the action.

The Obama administration’s warning is a sign that CISPA may already be dead. But for now, at least, its supporters in industry who want to be able to share information on cyber threats with the government and other companies can boast some momentum. 

 

It was an expensive win. According to data from the Sunlight Foundation, CISPA allies have spent $605 million on lobbying since 2011. The biggest spenders were the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which blew $163 million, and AT&T, which spent $34 million. In all, 52 groups donated at least $100,000 each to members of Congress.

Powered by Socrata

Those figures dwarf the other side’s spending. Opponents of CISPA spent a grand total of $4.3 million in Congress fighting it and other measures. For a better idea of what that looks like, for every $1 spent by CISPA critics like the American Civil Liberties Union, proponents of the bill spent nearly $38.

 

While most everything in this battle looks similar to the one that took place last year over CISPA, there’s one key difference: a surge of Democratic support. That probably won’t change the outcome if the White House is set on rejecting the bill. It’s an indication, though, that recent rhetoric -- fueled by high-profile hacking attempts on major businesses this year -- may be having an effect.

But this might be the most important takeaway of all: Despite being vastly outspent, the bill’s opponents still hold the advantage.

Update: A Sunlight Foundation spokesperson clarifies that their dataset tracks only lobbying spending by outside groups in general -- not their spending down to specific bills or issues. 

DON'T MISS TODAY'S TOP STORIES

Sign up form for the newsletter
Comments
comments powered by Disqus
 
MORE FROM NATIONAL JOURNAL