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House Democrats say talks with White House are going "pretty well"

House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and the ranking member of the committee, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Mary.) plan to lead a bipartisan push to reintroduce and push through Congress a slightly amended version of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) (H.R. 3523).  The bill is one of two cybersecurity measures being debated in Congress, with a separate bill being crafted in the Senate.

Last year the House passed CISPA, a measure which would make it easier for businesses to share information with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  The bill, which has a number of other cybersecurity implications, was supported by a number of large internet companies such as AT&T, Inc. (T) and Facebook, Inc. (FB).

But privacy advocates were outraged at the measure, fearful it would result in customer data being passed to the DHS or U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).  The Obama administration eventually sided with the privacy advocates, threatening to veto the bill if it passed through.

Obama on computer
Last year President Obama threatened to veto CISPA. [Image Source: Reuters]

Under the looming veto threat, the Senate refused to put the bill to a vote last year.  But the Senate version of the bill (S.2105 [PDF]), which President Obama prefered, also failed to pass.  In the aftermath President Obama announced his attention to push some of its provisions with executive orders, a controversial tactic.

But there may be fresh hope for Congress and the White House to reach a compromise and pass cybersecurity provisions into law.  A fresh round of hacking attacks has created momentum for a new effort by the feds.  Rep. Ruppersberger reports that discussions with the White House have been going "pretty well".  He adds, "We're working on some things…working with the White House to make sure that hopefully they can be more supportive of our bill than they were the last time."

The bill may get a boost from new U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director John Brennan, a former White House cybersecurity advisor who was involved "to an extent" with crafting the policies in the bill.

cybersecurity
The U.S. federal government faces a diverse array of cybersecurity threats.
[Image Source: ThinkProgress]

The U.S. federal government has struggled in recent years with both domestic and foreign cybersecurity threats.  Today it's trying to figure out how to cut through bureaucrat red tape to defend itself more effectively without crushing citizen privacy rights.  

It's also in the middle of an effort to bolster its cyberwarfare ranks, which currently consist of a skeleton crew working at the U.S. Cyber Command and units within the NSA and other agencies tasked with certain responsibilities.  The current plan is to expand the Cyber Command and unify cyberwarfare activities under its banner, but the precise policy details are still being juggled about.

Source: The Hill



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Compromise
By roykahn on 2/8/2013 8:46:23 PM , Rating: 5
Ah yes, the age-old dilemma of freedom versus security. I'm sure we can all trust the government and big business because they only want what's best for the common person...right? Instead of increasing accountability and transparency of the rulers, we allow them to have more power over the ruled.




RE: Compromise
By Jeffk464 on 2/10/2013 3:45:31 PM , Rating: 3
what could go wrong?


RE: Compromise
By JPForums on 2/11/2013 11:53:54 AM , Rating: 3
Cyber warfare, though digital, is still another form of warfare. Thus it does in fact fall to the government to protect us from such outside threats. Also, note that it is not within the U.S. governments capability to do this at present. Unfortunately, in this case, the government probably needs an expansion of power to effectively address the issue. (Of course, removing failed past legislation should also be considered, but good luck with that.)

However, they also need to strictly focus outward and not on their own populace. Local cybercrime is a law enforcement issue and should not be handled the same way as foreign threats. The only way to make sure that this added power doesn't get turned on the populace is for a significant increase in accountability and transparency to be irrevocably tied to it. Protecting the country from cyber treats doesn't necessarily have to infringe on individual freedoms.

That said, it its current form, it most certainly is a freedom vs security issue and I don't see that changing. Until the government is willing to focus legislation at the problem they claim to be addressing, it isn't even worth debating.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














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