US House of Representative passed CISPA on Wednesday, allowing it to become law.
The bill aims to increase the use of the National Security Letters (NSLs), the practice of requiring tech companies to turn over customers data to the government in order to obtain warrants for search warrants.
The legislation is the latest attempt to increase transparency around government surveillance and is opposed by privacy groups.
This year, the bill received a second-reading in the House of Delegates, which passed it with overwhelming bipartisan support.
CISPA is also expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama.
The law allows the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to request data on US citizens and permanent residents, and will allow for the US government to obtain internet service providers’ IP addresses and internet browsing histories.
The National Security Letter, which is often used to obtain customer data, is designed to collect information from internet companies that have not been properly disclosed.
The government uses these requests to obtain a wide range of information from ISPs, including the content of emails, chat, web browsing histories, and even social media posts.
“We need to build a new system that gives citizens the right to be fully informed about how the government is using their data,” said Senator Patrick Leahy, who introduced CISPA.
“The government should never need a court order to get the private information that they want from the companies they have a relationship with, and when they want to obtain that information from the ISPs, they should have that authority without a warrant.”
Senator Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the legislation was the first in a series of efforts to “make sure the government gets the full value of the information it collects.”
“The bill contains some good steps toward giving Americans a more informed and secure digital experience, and it is an important first step in the right direction towards making sure government officials do not abuse their powers,” he said.
Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin and the chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, called the bill “the most comprehensive privacy protection in a generation” and said he would continue to work on it.
“This is a great first step towards ending the NSA’s dragnet surveillance of American citizens and companies,” he added.
Senator Cory Booker, a Democrat from New Jersey and the ranking member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, noted that the legislation has been referred to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court).
The Senate Intelligence committee passed a bill in the wake of Snowden’s leaks in December, requiring companies to disclose the number of government requests they receive for customer data.
It also required the NSA to share more information about the number and types of intelligence requests it receives, as well as what types of requests it is able to comply with.
The NSA, however, has previously stated that it would not give any of the data it receives to the Senate.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the intelligence committee, has said that she would not allow any of her members to serve on a panel that could receive intelligence-gathering requests.
“I’m not going to allow anyone to serve as a member of this committee who might have access to information about national security investigations or intelligence,” she said last week.
Senator Mike Rogers, a member, Republican of Michigan, the top Republican on the intelligence panel, said that the bill would be amended before it was sent to the full Senate for a vote.
“If the bill is amended to give the Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees the power to hear all of these requests, it’s going to be a huge relief for our country, and we need to do everything we can to protect it,” he told TechRadars.