recommended reading

Who's Going to Blink First on Cyber — Obama, or the House?

White House

The Obama administration will now have to weigh in sooner rather than later on a highly contentious cybersecurity bill moving through the House.

With two days to go, a public plea for Obama to stop the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, has crossed the 100,000-signature threshold required for an official response. Critics of the bill -- which is meant to facilitate the sharing of cyber information between the public and private sectors -- believe its definitions are far too broad. Vast amounts of user information could fall into the category of “cyber threat information” and wind up in the wrong hands, the legislation’s opponents have argued.

Companies and some policymakers have insisted that businesses have to be able to share information with each other and with the government for cyberspace to be defended effectively. Such a system would raise the bar for hackers so that only “a very persistent nation-state actor” could break into U.S. networks, said former CIA director Michael Hayden.

In a previous showdown over CISPA last year, the White House sided with the protesters by issuing a veto threat on the bill. The House reintroduced CISPA this year with no changes in the language, so the White House likely still has objections to it. That puts the House on a collision course with Obama. Either he will have to give up the veto threat, or the bill will have to be modified somehow before it reaches his desk.

Here’s the silver lining for Obama: Even if CISPA passes the House this spring, as it did last year, it would still have to be reconciled with whatever the Senate comes up with on cyber legislation. There’s no bill to look at yet in that chamber -- and there’s no expected timeline for one, as Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), a member of the homeland security committee, told reporters recently.

But that doesn’t really help Obama right now. The anti-CISPA petition awaits.

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.