In a memo issued today, the White House stated its opposition to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), at least in its current form. Stating privacy concerns, the memo made it clear that President Obama would veto the bill as it stands now.
“Citizens have a right to know that corporations will be held accountable – and not granted immunity – for failing to safeguard personal information adequately,” the memo states. “Moreover, the Administration is confident that such measures can be crafted in a way that is not overly onerous or cost prohibitive on the businesses sending the information.”
CISPA is reportedly up for a vote on the floor of the United States House this week, possibly as soon as tomorrow (Weds.). The bill’s stated goal is to help the U.S government investigate cyber threats and ensure the security of networks against cyberattack. To this end, CISPA would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and certain technology and manufacturing companies.
But privacy activists such the Electronic Frontier Foundation have criticized the bill for having weak limits on how and when the government may monitor an individual’s Internet browsing information, and they fear that such new powers could be used to spy on the general public rather than to pursue hackers or cyber terrorists.
Apparently the Obama administration agrees with their fears, at least to an extent. The memo is very clear that the White House wants change to CISPA, not do away with the bill and they “stands ready” to work with the House Intelligence Committee and other lawmakers to “incorporate our core priorities” into the final bill.
Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) of the House Intelligence Committee disagreed with the President saying, “You can’t get more oversight on making sure that people’s personally identifiable information is protected than the way we structured it in this bill.”
[Image: Jason Heuser]