by Leigh Beadon

Filed Under:
cispa, cybersecurity, white house

White House Criticizes CISPA, Though Meekly And For Partially Wrong Reasons

from the still,-it's-something dept

With next week's vote on CISPA looming, the White House has made an official statement that implicitly criticizes the bill without mentioning it by name. The Hill reports that National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden issued the statement after a cybersecurity briefing in Congress:

"The nation’s critical infrastructure cyber vulnerabilities will not be addressed by information sharing alone," Hayden said.

"Also, while information sharing legislation is an essential component of comprehensive legislation to address critical infrastructure risks, information sharing provisions must include robust safeguards to preserve the privacy and civil liberties of our citizens. Legislation without new authorities to address our nation’s critical infrastructure vulnerabilities, or legislation that would sacrifice the privacy of our citizens in the name of security, will not meet our nation's urgent needs," she said, without explicitly mentioning CISPA.

While it's very good to hear them to make privacy concerns a central point, the administration's reasons for this position are not entirely the same as the citizens and civil liberties groups who oppose CISPA. The White House endorses the Lieberman-Collins bill in the Senate, which does indeed include better privacy protections (including an all-important requirement to anonymize shared data whenever possible), but also grants the federal government broad new regulatory powers relating to cybersecurity and critical infrastructure. This is in stark contrast to CISPA, which explicitly forbids regulatory usage. The White House wants to be able to start creating rules for "critical infrastructure" providers, which is undoubtedly the number one reason they support the Lieberman-Collins bill—but granting them that power is opening up a whole different can of worms. Nevertheless, though not an explicit or especially strong condemnation, this statement from the White House still adds significant weight to the growing CISPA opposition. The fact that the bill they are backing has its own problems really just points to the bigger and more important question: is there really any need to rush to create new cybersecurity legislation.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2012 @ 5:34am

    I simply can't shake the feeling piracy is _yet another_ of the US's ridiculous moral panics.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    jay, 18 Apr 2012 @ 5:42am

    Big players game....

    Every action as reason .... be it war on iraq or pirvacy...

    politicians feel that.. its threat for themselves....

    and starts to fend the open systems like wikipedia,publishing platforms like amazon,greatiful,kindle and all other platforms where public can express...their views

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    lexieliberty (profile), 18 Apr 2012 @ 6:04am

    They fail to understand what creativity is and how an open internet produces more creativity then that creates jobs, it enriches the culture and changes society. They are just incapable of having a real thinking process. They have no idea what they are doing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Big Al, 18 Apr 2012 @ 6:28am


    Unfortunately I think they understand the "changes society" bit all too well. That's why they seem to fear an open internet so much in its present form.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2012 @ 6:31am

    I heard that unreported cybercrime is on the rise.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    R.E. Ali Tichek, 18 Apr 2012 @ 6:56am


    I simply can't shake the feeling piracy is _yet another_ of the US's ridiculous moral panics.

    It is a "moral panic" only to those mentally weak enough to buy into the relentlessly hyped propaganda of the entrenched highly antiquated leeching wealth-grabbers (who contribute a net negative to society) that there should be no progress for anyone but themselves and that any threat to their wealth-earning capacity should be enemy number one.

    That is, of course, utter preposterous bullshit proffered by ruling-class-wannabes who have long passed their expiry dates, and of the "governments" that they employ.

    To the majority of us (i.e., the sane people), the whole situation is "theatre of the absurd".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), 18 Apr 2012 @ 7:25am


    I hadn't heard that, but then again, it was unreported. LOL

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), 18 Apr 2012 @ 7:31am

    Re: Re:

    Except that they're too late there too. Society has already changed. Permanently and irrevocably. Too late to even try to change it. Exactly the same as it was too late to stop the changes brought on by Gutenberg's printing press once that got out into the wild.

    One of the great things about politicians and absolute monarchs is that they always notice these changes long after they've already happened and it's far too late to change things!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    The eejit (profile), 18 Apr 2012 @ 7:34am


    I heard that unreported federal abuse was on the rise, too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), 18 Apr 2012 @ 7:44am

    I'd think they'd have learned, though they never seem to, that after rushing to get TSA going and screwing up airports to no appreciable increase in security. Result? Security theatre. The appearance of doing something while not doing it.

    As bad as SISPA is, and it's awful, the Senate bill in many ways is as bad.

    Probable result? More security theatre.

    There will be no 100% elimination of cyberspying or intrusion into critical networks as long as human beings are around. People will still set "Password" as their password or their dog's name as their user name. People will always pack up in a hurry and leave their laptop in the hotel room. It's next to impossible to legislate against human stupidity, forgetfulness and the list of usual espionage tools such as bribery, sex and the other list that have been around since people started spying on each other.

    Security Theatre II, the latest reality show brought to you by the detergent that cleans whiter than white! 10pm Eastern and 7pm Pacific!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2012 @ 8:09am

    'is there really any need to rush to create new cyber security legislation?'

    needs to be changed to

    'is there really any need to create new cyber security legislation?'

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2012 @ 9:35am


    I wouldn't mind a bit of computer security legislation, actually. Maybe something like, "computers that manage nuclear power plants must not be connected to the internet". That sort of thing.
    Of course, there's no chance of Congress making a reasonable law anytime soon. Instead we'll get cybersecurity cyberlaws that can't keep a guy from blowing up a nuclear power plant, but might marginally increase the chance of arresting him afterward.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    John Thacker, 18 Apr 2012 @ 9:47am

    Both bills are stupid, though stupid in different ways. Looks like partisanship and a lack of comity are our only hope.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2012 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah. I think old people shouldn't be in the government. They quite simply don't know jack shit about the current times. What do people think a clueless, senile, retired, hard-headed old man is going to fix in office? His fucking wallet, that's what.

    We need to govern for today, not for 50 years ago. I hope the internet usurps the power of every government on earth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    sgt_doom (profile), 18 Apr 2012 @ 10:58am

    One Giant Leap For Mankind

    One Giant Leap For Mankind

    This week, official papers were served on Jack Straw, former British foreign secretary, who is being sued by a Libyan couple who were extreme renditioned to Libya for torture by Ghaddafi.

    With the downfall of the brutal and criminal Ghaddafi regime, documents were uncovered which implicated MI6 and the CIA in the kidnapping of this husband and wife to Libya.

    Similar documents were supposed to have been uncovered in Afghanistan also implicating these intelligence agencies.

    Truly, special reservations in Hell exist for those guilty in this completely amoral abomination by British and American intelligence organizations --- the utter act of official depravity!

    (One moment the USA is trying to kill Ghaddafi, and correctly vilifying him as a terrorist, the next they are willfully aiding him in the atrocious torture of innocents.)

    We’ve witnessed the collusion, the wholesale aiding and abetting of the Chinese totalitarian state’s attacks on the pro-democracy advocates and activists in that country by American corporations, and the corrupt governmental and congressional whore scum in thrall to Wall Street and the bankster class, along with the unabated criminal corruption of the US Supreme Court!

    The economic warfare so consistently perpetrated by the multinationals against workers and the citizenry, both in America and China, is beyond debate; the facts have been shouting out for many decades now.

    No wonder Wikileaks’ Julian Assange is so wary of the senseless action by the schizoid Swedish government in their attempt to extradite him; especially given the abysmal record of Sweden’s past guilt with aiding in American extreme rendition.

    Swedish courts have found in favor of several Arab-Swedes who were erroneously extreme renditioned – or kidnapped -- for torture.

    The Justice Minister at that time, Thomas Bodström, recently went on a tour in America, and lied his butt off, falsely claiming that Assange “fled Sweden” to avoid a trial, when clearly the facts prove otherwise!

    Assange stayed in Sweden for questioning, after the case against him was dropped for lack of evidence, then restarted due to political pressure brought to bear on the Swedish Prosecution Authority.

    Assange’s attorney asked for permission for Assange to leave Sweden, since they refused to question him during the month he remained available for questioning!

    Yet Thomas Bodström lies and lies about this, just as he colluded with America in their illegal kidnapping when he was justice minister.

    During this same time, the United Kingdom is being sued in European court for the forced criminal removal of the indigenous population of Diego Garcia --- the wholesale theft of their country!

    Abominations abound, and the guilty should be damned and not allowed to hide and cower behind their corrupt governmental positions.

    Sweden has enjoyed the existence of freedom-of-information laws since the 1700s; they should actively use their own laws to uncover governmental guilt and corruption!

    [Official disclaimer: I am all for the extreme rendition of Cheney, Bush, both Clintons, Obama, Biden, Carl Bildt, Thomas Bodström, Beatrice Ask, and the ruling party of China to the torture chambers of Syria.]

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Jordan, 18 Apr 2012 @ 11:04am

    Take a stand against CISPA

    If you're looking for some way to take a stand against CISPA, sign [AccessNow's petition]( against the legislation, and use the [anti-CISPA consortium page]( to contact all of your federal representatives in one fell swoop (and then share both of these links around widely). These are exactly the kinds of actions that helped us derail SOPA and PIPA a few months ago. If we speak up loudly enough, the government will have to listen, and kill this horrible legislation.

    Disclosure: I'm an intern at Access Now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Apr 2012 @ 12:27pm

    Re: One Giant Leap For Mankind

    How exactly is this post relevant to this article?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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