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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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I called my representatives
By tayb on 4/26/2012 3:24:09 PM , Rating: 5
I called my representatives and asked that they vote no on this bill. Did you?

Internet talk is cheap. Pick up the phone if you don't want this stuff passed. These guys have a job because YOU have empowered them and only YOU have the ability to take that power away. Pick up the phone and call.

RE: I called my representatives
By Vinny141 on 4/26/2012 3:36:15 PM , Rating: 5
and vote in the damn primaries as well

RE: I called my representatives
By Jaybus on 4/26/2012 3:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
No, but I e-mail via his web page, and have gotten a few responses. In many attempts, I have NEVER gotten through on the phone. I suggest e-mail via their Congressional web page.

RE: I called my representatives
By tayb on 4/26/2012 4:01:08 PM , Rating: 2
That's odd. I've had the exact opposite experience. I never get anything but generic responses to emails but someone, usually and aid or representative, always picks up the phone.

RE: I called my representatives
By nafhan on 4/26/2012 5:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
Generally, email is about the bottom of the barrel as far as likelihood of getting a real response. Phone calls and snail mail are your best bets.

RE: I called my representatives
By Amedean on 4/26/2012 9:46:12 PM , Rating: 1
I really do not understand what side of the political spectrum this thread is in. Are you guys against the bill and chastising the President for threatening veto against it?

This is a bill introduced by Republican Mike Myers in 2011.

Republicans voted overwhelmingly today 248-168 in support to allow corporations and government to share information (including personal) more freely in the name of cyber defense (or can be sold to each other $$$). It is an expansion of government and corporations which I believe is not popular in this discussion.

Why, I cannot understand for the life of me has there been criticism in this thread against the President threatening to veto, and at the same time criticizing the bill?

RE: I called my representatives
By mcnabney on 4/27/12, Rating: -1
RE: I called my representatives
By Kurz on 4/27/2012 10:20:01 AM , Rating: 2
These discusions should happen one way or another.
We are not friends here... we just exchange thoughts and Ideas and we have debates on them.

You don't have to read his posts, nor the comments.
I gain insight and knowledge more than I feel hate.

RE: I called my representatives
By Amedean on 4/27/2012 3:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
I have noticed this tendency but Jason brings daily tech click advertising. Feeding off this political bigotry puts milk in his fridge and unfortunately many people in journalism are the imams of perpetual distortion. Dan Rather had many negative opinions about this.

P.S. dont be discouraged by your rating. People here generally do not rate these threads on intellect but rather "my side, your side"....its nonsense.

RE: I called my representatives
By Reclaimer77 on 4/27/12, Rating: 0
RE: I called my representatives
By Amedean on 4/27/2012 3:02:49 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!

RE: I called my representatives
By Dr of crap on 4/26/2012 3:52:54 PM , Rating: 5
And you think they care what you think?

Maybe if you greased their palm with a few hundred thousand...

RE: I called my representatives
By tayb on 4/26/2012 3:58:38 PM , Rating: 5
The quick retreat on SOPA/PIPA makes me believe they do. Congress pays more attention to constituents phone calls than any other form of communication because they know people who will pick up the phone and call are the same people who will go out and vote. It's easy to email and it's easy to sign a petition.

RE: I called my representatives
By TSS on 4/27/2012 6:21:10 PM , Rating: 1
Call me a cynic, but i belive they listen to the news, not the people. There was a large outcry yes, but that outcry was also widely covered. Don't forget how far SOPA got before the outcry became loud. It's not like there wheren't any protesters before that.

Protests fueled news coverage which fueled more protests and so on.

Now don't get me wrong, i do think protesting is important. I'm just saying politicians aren't as quick to listen when there is something else on the news.

Go ahead. Call your representative, and ask them what they think of the fact that it took obama from november 4th to januari 20th to transition into president, while geithner is saying the national debt will hit the debt ceiling after the elections, but within this calender year. So probably in a full transitional period. And this time with debt to GDP at 100%+, so you'll need to cut more.

Did i mention a bipartisan supercommitee took 3 months, then still failed? because of which automatic cuts are still supposed to go into effect on januari 1st 2013, unless congress and the president do something about it. And that failed on a amount of $1.2 trillion over a decade while running a $1.2+ trillion deficit a year.

Maybe you should vote republican because if theres a divided house and senate when that shitstorm hits it might just be the big one. I mean it's going to be shit either way, but that might buy you a few months....

RE: I called my representatives
By Vinny141 on 4/26/2012 3:52:36 PM , Rating: 3
they only care about getting re-elected.

if enough people come forward and show their dislike about a certain topic, they will change there tune.

but youre, right who cares anyway. best not to get involved.

RE: I called my representatives
By dgingerich on 4/26/2012 7:14:23 PM , Rating: 2
This is one reason I voted for Ron Paul in the Colorado caucus. Rick Santorum ended up winning the vote, though, and now even he dropped out. Now we have the choice of a lying mobster for Republican or a mal-educated, deluded, wannabe king for Democrat for President. I'm not very hopeful for this country over the next 5 years.

RE: I called my representatives
By mcnabney on 4/27/12, Rating: -1
RE: I called my representatives
By Kurz on 4/27/2012 10:30:38 AM , Rating: 3
He has no respect for the constitution.
Yea I consider him a king.

RE: I called my representatives
By TSS on 4/27/2012 6:27:48 PM , Rating: 2
A king has a vested interest in his people. A king with no followers is no king at all.

The word you're looking for is Dictator.

RE: I called my representatives
By TSS on 4/27/2012 6:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
Let me slightly correct myself there. i think "Tyrant" would be slightly more apt and humerous.

RE: I called my representatives
By Kurz on 4/28/2012 9:59:00 AM , Rating: 2
Well I should state he considers himself a King.
While I consider him a 'Tyrant'

RE: I called my representatives
By Reclaimer77 on 4/27/12, Rating: -1
RE: I called my representatives
By Chessmanguy on 4/30/2012 1:42:53 PM , Rating: 2
Please, Mr. Representative ! Please spare me and my internet, I beg of you. Have mercy, almighty representative, please have mercy!

RE: I called my representatives
By CharonPDX on 4/30/2012 6:03:39 PM , Rating: 2
My Rep voted no, and it's guaranteed my Senators will, with one likely to Filibuster (Sen. Wyden of Oregon.)

It's high time....
By wewter on 4/26/2012 4:49:24 PM , Rating: 5
It's high time that Americans get their collective acts together and get Ron Paul into the white house where he can have much more of an impact in protecting our constitutional freedoms.

RE: It's high time....
By thestinkinggenius on 4/26/2012 5:54:33 PM , Rating: 5
Unfortunately it will never happen, Ron Paul is too honest.

RE: It's high time....
By dgingerich on 4/26/2012 7:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
I voted for him in the Republican caucus in Colorado. It would be good to have an honest man in the White House for the first time in 100+ years.

Unfortunately, there are just too many stupid people who listen to the media, from either Fox News on the right or the rest of the idiots on the left, instead of looking at the fact and making their own decisions. Sheep. That all most people are. Stupid sheep.

RE: It's high time....
By JediJeb on 4/26/2012 9:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, there are just too many stupid people who listen to the media

I watched the movie "Rollerball" this weekend and in it James Cahn had a line that is very relevant today;

"They offered the people comfort or freedom, they chose comfort"

People say they want freedom today, but few are willing to pay the price it costs to be free. The founding fathers of this country were ready to risk all of their fortune and their life to be free, today neither the rich or the poor are willing to even risk their time watching sports on the weekend if it was required to maintain our freedoms. Only a few even consider giving up what they have for our freedoms and even fewer actually do.

RE: It's high time....
By StevoLincolnite on 4/26/2012 11:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
The thing is, your country has already fought for your freedom when you broke away from the British Empire. - You shouldn't have to fight to retain it in your political system, but from outside aggressors.

Vote Ron Paul.

RE: It's high time....
By Kurz on 4/27/2012 10:35:11 AM , Rating: 2
Freedom is Comfort!
It enables comfort to come the cheapest and most efficient way.

RE: It's high time....
By metalhead004 on 4/27/2012 12:06:51 PM , Rating: 2
True but a lot of people think that relying on the government for welfare and to run their lives is comfort. That requires the least amount of thinking and effort.

RE: It's high time....
By TSS on 4/27/12, Rating: 0
Devil in details
By Amedean on 4/26/12, Rating: 0
RE: Devil in details
By laweijfmvo on 4/26/2012 3:32:56 PM , Rating: 5
did you even read the article? paul wants the bill thrown in the fire, obama wants it tweaked (expanded?) to give the government more oversight and control.

RE: Devil in details
By Jaybus on 4/26/2012 3:47:20 PM , Rating: 5
Right. It is misleading to say that Paul and the President are in agreement about this bill. A more accurate way to put it is that the President MOSTLY agrees with the bill, while Paul disagrees with it ENTIRELY.

RE: Devil in details
By Amedean on 4/26/12, Rating: 0
RE: Devil in details
By steven975 on 4/27/2012 2:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
His voting history alone is all the proof anyone needs.

RE: Devil in details
By Amedean on 4/27/12, Rating: 0
RE: Devil in details
By Amedean on 4/26/12, Rating: 0
RE: Devil in details
By Vinny141 on 4/26/12, Rating: 0
RE: Devil in details
By thestinkinggenius on 4/26/12, Rating: 0
Smart ass POTUS
By IranTech on 4/26/2012 5:39:15 PM , Rating: 1
Mr. Obama wants a provision that allows corporations to be sued and at the same time wants the homeland sec to have it all at will and do anything it wants to do with it. What an smart ass idiot, that Obama.

Mr. Obama also adopts sanctions on Iran and Syria for controlling the cyber space and at the time pushes as hard as he can for controlling of the American cyberspace. Looks like as long as the American business is willing to cooperate willingly in spying and reporting on Americans it is acceptable to pass laws to facilitate that willingness into a business relationship with the government and big business. It is 1984 forever in America. I am glad, I am not living in America. Yeah, "They Come to America", not!

RE: Smart ass POTUS
By dgingerich on 4/26/2012 9:24:45 PM , Rating: 2
The way he attempts to bypass the other branches of government so often (and many times succeeds) it's obvious he thinks he's a king.

I don't have a king. I bend knee to no man. The very concept of aristocracy, like the Hollywood elite want so bad, is anathema to me. If the government overreaches to that point, like it is getting close now, I will stand up and resist with everything I have, whatever it means or costs.

Obama cries crocodile tears
By scootypuff on 4/26/2012 3:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
Remember he opposed the NDAA until it was made even mote draconian. Then he sogned it.

Re: Obama is a smooth operator
By nevadasmith on 4/26/2012 4:59:43 PM , Rating: 2
The Incumbent is a smooth operator compared to the GOP front runner.While Mr. Romney has yet to make any shift towards Ron Paul's platform,it's apparent that Mr. Obama has done just that.CISPA is a perfect example,you can say Paul and Obama in the same breath.You can't say that about Romney.
Also,since Mr.Romney failed to shift his foreign policy in any way towards the Ron Paul platform,we now have Biden snipping at Romney,for having a "cold war" attitude.This is exactly what Ron Paul supporters were saying all along.

Hi, My Name is Barack
By Shadowmaster625 on 4/27/2012 9:39:18 AM , Rating: 2
Hi, My Name is Barack. This bill is an outrage. I oppose this legislation. I promise I will veto this bill.

Please remove the word "the" from page 6 paragraph 4 and I will support it. See, this is what makes America so great; our system of checks and balances ensures that bad legislation doesnt get through..

By ScotterQX6700 on 4/30/2012 6:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
Two reasons Obama is bluffing. He wants CISPA. Here are two reasons. There is a third that you don't want to know:

(1) He has only expressed an issue with *one* part of CISPA, which has to do with immunity to ISPs. He is all for the rest and Congress made the change he asked for.

(2) RIAA, MPAA, Facebook are all for CISPA. Do you know how many RIAA & MPAA people Obama has brought to work under him in Washington? This is not conspiracy theory. You can look it up. It's even more blatant than his ties to Monsanto, as if those are not pretty obvious.

I don't get it..
By just4U on 5/1/2012 1:55:06 AM , Rating: 2
I know in the United States you have two right wing parties... The Republicans sit to the Right of the Democrats.. Why are they supporting this bill as it erodes your freedom even more. It doesn't make sense.

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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