recommended reading

White House vows to veto CISPA

Ron Edmonds/AP

The White House is threatening to veto a House cybersecurity bill that critics have condemned for encroaching on Americans’ online privacy and not going far enough to regulate critical infrastructure networks.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, would allow businesses to share data broadly with intelligence and other federal agencies without setting rules to protect customers’ personal information, argues a statement of Obama administration policy released Wednesday afternoon. Additionally, firms would be able to disclose data about their own security lapses without fear of punishment, White House officials said.

“The sharing of information must be conducted in a manner that preserves Americans’ privacy, data confidentiality and civil liberties, and recognizes the civilian nature of cyberspace,” the statement says.

Some free speech activists and hacker groups have likened CISPA, H.R. 3523, to an intellectual property bill, called the Stop Online Piracy Act, that died in the House amid similar criticism.

“If H.R. 3523 were presented to the president, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill,” White House officials stated.

The administration goes on to say information sharing is inadequate to stanch the flow of trade secrets, personal information and other sensitive information into the hands of hackers. “Information sharing, while an essential component of comprehensive legislation, is not alone enough to protect the nation's core critical infrastructure from cyber threats,” the statement says.

The White House and a Senate cohort led by Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, want Congress to let the Homeland Security Department regulate the security policies of firms running networks vital to Americans, such as telecommunications lines, transit ways and water distribution systems.

Congress must require that critical infrastructure companies “are properly protected by meeting minimum cybersecurity performance standards” developed jointly by the firms and DHS, administration officials state, adding “voluntary measures alone are insufficient responses to the growing danger of cyber threats.”

The legislation “would inappropriately shield companies from any suits where a company's actions are based on cyber threat information identified, obtained or shared under this bill, regardless of whether that action otherwise violated federal criminal law or results in damage or loss of life,” White House officials state. “This broad liability protection not only removes a strong incentive to improving cybersecurity, it also potentially undermines our nation's economic, national security and public safety interests.”

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.