White House Threatens To Veto CISPA If Privacy Is Not Protected

from the now-carry-through dept

While it had hinted at a veto threat earlier, the White House has now put out a statement on CISPA that, if privacy protections are not added to the bill, it will likely veto the bill. I know some cynical folks will note the possibility of an out, and the chance that he’ll sign the bill anyway, but hopefully the meaningful threat of a veto will convince Congress to think twice about passing a bad bill that wipes out privacy protections.

Both government and private companies need cyber threat information to allow them to identify, prevent, and respond to malicious activity that can disrupt networks and could potentially damage critical infrastructure. The Administration believes that carefully updating laws to facilitate cybersecurity information sharing is one of several legislative changes essential to protect individuals’ privacy and improve the Nation’s cybersecurity. While there is bipartisan consensus on the need for such legislation, it should adhere to the following priorities: (1) carefully safeguard privacy and civil liberties; (2) preserve the long-standing, respective roles and missions of civilian and intelligence agencies; and (3) provide for appropriate sharing with targeted liability protections.

The Administration recognizes and appreciates that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) adopted several amendments to H.R. 624 in an effort to incorporate the Administration’s important substantive concerns. However, the Administration still seeks additional improvements and if the bill, as currently crafted, were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill. The Administration seeks to build upon the continuing dialogue with the HPSCI and stands ready to work with members of Congress to incorporate our core priorities to produce cybersecurity information sharing legislation that addresses these critical issues.

There are some good amendments proposed, which would help protect privacy, but it’s unclear how likely they are to pass.

Furthermore, it’s still quite troubling that no one seems willing to explain why this is needed, and what existing laws are somehow getting in the way of important information being shared. We keep asking that question, and it seems odd that no one replies other than “but… but… but… cyberattacks from China!!”

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Comments on “White House Threatens To Veto CISPA If Privacy Is Not Protected”

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24 Comments
varagix says:

Re: Re:

I’m thinking it’s the administration trying to look good while it’s push for other legislation it supports, like gun control, is floundering. It gets to look good, while opposing a law that only really makes the kind of spying that’s already being done secretly (and likely illegally) easier and more legal.

Anon Man says:

Re: Re:

I think the president wants is to allow malware to be legally installed on our computers. Remember the Dutch government? They legalized malware to spy on its citizens.

He’s not really threatening to veto for privacy, but he wants the bill to allow the government to hack into our PCs, Macs, and mobile devices and install malware.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

While I generally want to lean towards this theory, I think it is more complex:

Internationally cybersecurity has been pointed out as one of the most expensive problems today (while the numbers are complete Hollywood piracy estimates, the threats are “real”). The reports have created interest in shoring up cybersecurity.

The first step in stopping the crimes is getting a more centralized collection of Ddos-information. Why exactly they need a new law is unknown. I guess it is to assure even more data can be cross-referenced for the illegal activities. Afaik. the crimes they want to stop are primarily viruses and Ddos (the everyday kind you see done by every idiot online), but also hacking and trojans. They may never be able to stop it, but it seems that is what they are shooting for.

Imo. Public “anonymous statistics” for pattern hunting by whoever wants to hunt are a better start to fighting it, but what do I know?

Anonymous Coward says:

Furthermore, it’s still quite troubling that no one seems willing to explain why this is needed, and what existing laws are somehow getting in the way of important information being shared. We keep asking that question, and it seems odd that no one replies other than “but… but… but… cyberattacks from China!!”

I’ve got a hunch the problem is nepotism. Someone should check how many of the “We must stop the cyberhackers!” bozos have nephews working at those cybersecurity firms. I’m guessing somewhere between 3 and 10.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Remember the NDAA?

You know the appropriations bill that declared US soil (or anywhere) as a battleground, allowing the DoD and the White House to disappear anyone they chose, without due process?

Remember that Obama promised to veto that?

Eventually he signed it with a signing statement this administration won’t act on Title X, Subtitle D. So allegedly he won’t but the next guy can.

It is still awaiting legal challenge, BTW.

I don’t trust Obama to veto the Final Solution to the Jewish Question let alone CISPA.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Remember the NDAA?

You know the appropriations bill that declared US soil (or anywhere) as a battleground, allowing the DoD and the White House to disappear anyone they chose, without due process?

Remember that Obama promised to veto that?

Are you talking about the NDAA or something else? I remember he threatened to veto the NDAA (that authorized the military to arrest US citizens inside the US and hold them indefinitely without trial) because it didn’t give enough unchecked power to the executive branch. Disturbing.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Remember the NDAA?

I remember he threatened to veto the NDAA (that authorized the military to arrest US citizens inside the US and hold them indefinitely without trial) because it didn’t give enough unchecked power to the executive branch.

Pillars of creation, you’re right! I had forgotten that detail.

MY WORLDVIEW IS COMING APART AT THE SEAMS.

Oh wait…no that just means Obama’s more of a bastard. Yeah, we can’t count on Obama to veto his own execution order.

Anonymous Coward says:

It helps to read Stewart Baker’s comments at http://www.volokh.com/2013/04/16/george-gershwin-cispa-and-the-presidents-veto-threat/ to understand the issue. He is quite correct in noting that the statement by the White House not only contradicts the draft legislation it send to Congress, but if implemented would virtually shut down the “sharing” of information.

Dave says:

Rep. Mike Rogers

Having just seen the Rep. Mike Rogers video; from my UK point of view, the guy seems incredibly sincere and obviously believes in what he’s talking about. Er…..oh dear, my own sincerity circuitry seems to be failing…..Click! Ah, that’s better…..sounds like a pack of lies, FUD and obfuscation to me. The guy sounds about as sincere as a loan shark on pay-day, or maybe a double-glazing salesman in full flight!

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