But more than than 50 security experts, university professors and entrepreneurs say CISPA is not the way to do it. The group sent an open letter to Congress last week opposing it.
"We take security very seriously, but we fervently believe that strong computer and network security does not require Internet users to sacrifice their privacy and civil liberties," the group said in the letter published on the website of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Bruce Schneier, a security technologist, columnist and author, is the first signature on the letter. He says he believes the reason for a lack of opposition to CISPA from private companies is that, "most businesses don't care."
CISPA is far from a done deal, even after its passage on a strong bipartisan vote of 248-168, with 42 Democrats joining 206 Republicans.
Besides the opposition of privacy and civil liberties groups, the Senate will be taking up its own bill -- the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 -- and the Office of Management and Budget has recommended that President Obama veto CISPA if it reaches his desk in its current form.
In response, House leaders crafted an amendment that limits the government's use of threat information to five specific purposes: cybersecurity; investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crimes; protection of individuals from death or serious bodily harm; protection of minors from child pornography; and the protection of national security.
But opponents say those changes do not address their main objection to CISPA -- that employees' personal information shared by companies with the government could be passed to the National Security Agency or the Defense Department. And CISPA would insulate private firms from any liability from customer lawsuits if the information on cyberthreats was shared in "good faith."
Those critics, along with the White House and a coalition of liberal and conservative groups, want information from the private sector to be given to the civilian Department of Homeland Security, not military agencies like NSA or DoD.
George still thinks the privacy advocates are going overboard. "People reveal more about themselves on Facebook than anything the government would be interested in," he says. More importantly, he argues, the risks to enterprises and to citizens in general from cyber attacks are much greater than the threat of lost privacy.
"The power grid is under daily attack," he says, and if an attack succeeds, "it could have a major impact."
Read more about data privacy in CSOonline's Data Privacy section.