Print 58 comment(s) - last by Darzl.. on May 1 at 6:05 AM

The President is threatening to veto the bill if it makes it pass the House and Senate

H.R. 3523 -- or the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), as it's better known -- is a pretty interesting piece of legislation.  

Proponents of the bill -- an amendment to the National Security Act of 1947 [PDF] -- claim the bill is vital as it allows private entities to share information on cybersecurity threats with the U.S. government.  This could help protect the private sector against attacks from both malicious rogues and hostile nation states like China.  

Supporters include Facebook, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Intel Corp. (INTC), International Business Machines Inc. (IBM), Oracle Corp. (ORCL), AT&T (T), and Verizon Wireless (VZ).

The bill has overwhelming support in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives with 111 co-sponsors.  It was first introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) in Nov. 2011, and promises that participation would be purely voluntary.

But the bill also has some high profile opponents.  While President Barack Obama (D) has in the past pushed for increased online surveillance of U.S. citizens and immunity for telecoms participating in government wiretapping efforts, curiously his administration reacted strongly to supposed privacy risks the bill raises.

And in the strange bedfellows department, the President is joined by his usual critic Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).  Rep. Paul called the bill "Big Brother writ large."

Ron Paul and Obama
Rep. Ron Paul (left) (R-TX) and President Barack Obama (right) (D) found a rare moment of agreement in opposing a new cybersecurity bill.
[Image Sources: AP Photo (left); Reuters (right)]

President Obama has threatened to veto the measure if passes the House and Senate. 

"[T]he bill would allow broad sharing of information with governmental entities without establishing requirements for both industry and the Government to minimize and protect personally identifiable information," he complains in a letter, "[It] lacks sufficient limitations on the sharing of personally identifiable information between private entities and does not contain adequate oversight or accountability measures necessary to ensure that the data is used only for appropriate purposes."

One controversial aspect of the bill is that it would grant corporations who share personally identifiable information wtih the government immunity from lawsuits.

But where Rep. Paul and the POTUS may diverge in their criticisms is in their opinion of what to do.  Rep. Paul would like to see the measure scrapped entirely.  By contrast President Obama is lobbying for the removal of the corporate immunity provision.  But he's also pushing for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to oversee the program, potentially handing it a host of private personal information on U.S. citizens -- a idea which would surely make Rep. Paul cringe.

Homeland Security
President Obama wants to change the bill to pass the info through the Department of Homeland Security, which could lead to even worse privacy concerns [Image Source: CyTalk]

While some call the bill "worse than SOPA", the President's proposed changes could in theory make it more Orwellian in some ways, even as he removes other unpopular measures.  In that regard it's hard to separate the fact from political rhetoric and see who -- if anyone -- is interested in protecting the privacy of the American people.

Sources: The White House [PDF], The Guardian (Ron Paul comments)

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RE: I called my representatives
By Reclaimer77 on 4/27/2012 12:45:48 PM , Rating: 0
Because, as usual, Obama doesn't think this bill goes "far enough". That's really his only problem with it. Make no mistake, he has no issue with the core concept of it at all.

RE: I called my representatives
By Amedean on 4/27/2012 3:02:49 PM , Rating: 1
What is the "far enough" part. From my understanding the President is concerned about the lack of oversight in the exchange of information.

There needs to be a system of checks and balance . This is why police officers get search warrants before searching your property, they need justifiable cause.

Now, again, the focus is just on the President......WHY? This is a Republican bill, not supported by all Republicans but it is by the majority. You neglected to mention this, who is your representative of your district? Will you change your support of him based on legislation he votes for or will you be loyal to "the party".

PEOPLE, if you want to make a change then hold accountable the people who are responsible and stop supporting these players strictly along party lines!

Free your mind gentlemen, exercise your ethics and do not allow yourselves to become pawns.

RE: I called my representatives
By Reclaimer77 on 4/27/12, Rating: 0
RE: I called my representatives
By Amedean on 4/27/2012 3:22:21 PM , Rating: 1
You are still neglecting to mention my point, its a REPUBLICAN BILL but more likely you will not hold those who support it responsible because you are very focused and politically charged in finding responsibility from the president.

From my experience, no amount of logical information will persuade emotionally driven decisions. It is a personality characteristic and you nor I have any control of this other than being aware of this tendency.

RE: I called my representatives
By Reclaimer77 on 4/27/12, Rating: -1
RE: I called my representatives
By Amedean on 4/27/2012 3:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares? Republicans can't force a bill past the President. Republicans haven't been in power since 2006. I'm not happy about the bill, but I fail to see why I should focus on it.

You have proven my point, faith in party and not innate values. This country is not failing because of one man. No, I do not look for scapegoats, it is failing because of its own people.

Voters do not think what they can do for their country or community, they are consumed by how to please and serve the party.

RE: I called my representatives
By Reclaimer77 on 4/27/2012 4:22:24 PM , Rating: 1
Meah you're way too preachy and condescending. You don't see the big picture at all here or what's at stake. You wanna ramp up the negative coverage on Republicans so Obama can slip into another 4 years of failure and ruin, be my guest. I wont be joining you.

I have innate values. I'm a Conservative, not a Republican. But none of those values will mean a damn thing if Obama gets reelected. There's nothing noble about going down with a ship, nothing at all.

RE: I called my representatives
By Amedean on 4/27/2012 5:03:36 PM , Rating: 1
I got this from the urban dictionary I thought was very hilarious for the occasion.

Meah is something you would say when there is complete silence after you make a retarded comment.

Person- Then I raped a deaf girl.
Everyone else- ...
Person- Meah...

Seriously though, winning debates is not the most important thing. I sense you are a concerned person, I just wish you would funnel this wealth of energy to something constructive other than "lets destroy Obama dab nabbit"!

RE: I called my representatives
By Darzl on 5/1/2012 6:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
We don't want to "destroy" Obama, we just don't want him for another term to push us down the same road and off a cliff.

RE: I called my representatives
By PrezWeezy on 4/27/2012 7:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
Meah you're way too preachy and condescending. You don't see the big picture at all here or what's at stake

There is a cooking vessel joke here somewhere...

RE: I called my representatives
By Amedean on 4/27/2012 11:20:30 PM , Rating: 2
Good analogy from a metaphor!

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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