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Sen. Joe Lieberman introduced a revised version of his cybersecurity legislation. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, President Obama urges the Senate to pass the legislation.
For the sake of our national and economic security, I urge the Senate to pass the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 and Congress to send me comprehensive legislation so I can sign it into law.
The bill has been revised to address many of the concerns of civil liberties and privacy advocates, and has answered the concerns of many. In fact, the ACLU says the improvements in the bill on civil liberties are "good news." They detail those changes:
• Ensure that companies who share cybersecurity information with the government give it directly to civilian agencies, and not to military agencies like the National Security Agency.  The single most important limitation on domestic cybersecurity programs is that they are civilian-run and do not turn the military loose on Americans and the internet.

• Ensure that information shared under the program be “reasonably necessary” to describe a cybersecurity threat.

• Restrict the government’s use of information it receives under the cyber info sharing authority so that it can be used only for actual cybersecurity purposes and to prosecute cyber crimes, protect people from imminent threat of death or physical harm, or protect children from serious threats.

• Require annual reports from the Justice Department, Homeland Security, Defense and Intelligence Community Inspectors General that describe what information is received, who gets it, and what is done with it.

• Allow individuals to sue the government if it intentionally or willfully violates the law.

The legislation also makes what were mandatory standards on the relevant industries optional, but still "establishes a 'National Cybersecurity Council' to 'coordinate with owners and operators of critical infrastructure.'" Congressional Republicans were intent on not allowing the federal government to enforce any regulation on these industries to make them protect themselves. The disastrous House-passed CISPA bill included no regulation or responsibility on the part of industry, so this is a modest improvement there. It's a huge improvement over the House bill on the civil liberties front.

The bill is slated to come to the floor of the Senate next week, and could certainly be subject to anti-privacy amendments, but it is a definite improvement on the first iteration of the Senate bill.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 09:59:56 AM PDT

  •  The devil will be in the details... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    420 forever, Kinak, Paper Cup

    and the potential abuse of unintended reading of said law or ambiguous language.

  •  one area in which (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kinak, The Dead Man, Paper Cup

    I don't really trust the President's judgment.  I might trust some named people, but the security apparatus, not really.   But I guess better is better, given that we could have the House version forced on us if we lose in November.

  •  Re (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry J

    They should also outlaw the use of "national security letters".

    I am very suspicious of the contents of this bill even so. Any bill that expands the government's powers in this regard is probably bad news.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 11:33:46 AM PDT

  •  ASDF (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry J, Sparhawk, holeworm
    • Ensure that companies who share cybersecurity information with the government give it directly to civilian agencies, and not to military agencies like the National Security Agency.  The single most important limitation on domestic cybersecurity programs is that they are civilian-run and do not turn the military loose on Americans and the internet.
    Great in theory but the lines between military and civilian organizations are now so (intentionally) blurred as to make this meaningless.

    The NSA are a pretty cut and dried example but what about say, a request under the  DHS or one of its many tentacles.

    This bill is pure poison and that is regardless of whether Obama advocates for it or not.

    •  Random aside, but (0+ / 0-)

      What does ASDF mean? I can't figure it out.

    •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not sure which I feel safer with anyway.. the military or the so-called "civilian" agencies that operate under much less scrutiny than our military!  Maybe neither!

    •  The military is already loose on the Internet... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      david78209

      You know, all those nice little NSA installations so they can help collect data when they have a legal warrant. (Yeah right...)

      At least this is trying to change that. It's not optimal. I'd rather have the government not operate any part of the program, except as a participant like any company would be.

      Then again, I also don't know what neutral body can reasonably oversee this. We can't just go "hey, CERT, here's 100x the crap you're already dealing with." The DHS-run US-CERT has already taken over much of what CERT and similar organizations have done in the past...

      Any suggestions on a neutral organization that actually has the resources to handle coordinating a nationwide cybersecurity effort?

      •  Maybe the FISA court? (0+ / 0-)

        Not that they necessarily deserve trust, but at least they're in a position to oversee 'black helicopter' stuff.

        We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

        by david78209 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 01:34:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There should be a advocate for the 'defense'... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soros, david78209

          ...as well. If the government brings a secret order to the court asking for something, there should be a second 'defense' advocate present with the same security clearances whose job is to attempt to quash the order and prove that it is not necessary and that the government should go pound sand.

          As I understand it, there is no person defending the person to be spied upon (or whatever). That needs to change.

          (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
          Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

          by Sparhawk on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 04:25:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Exactly why do they need a new law? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, Jerry J

    What illegal activity is somehow made legal by virtue of it being on the internet? Can't existing laws be used to address the problems?

    And if they think this will somehow "fix" the security holes in the internet they're a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

    Many people thought Bush was "the kind of guy you wanted to have a beer with". People are beginning to realize that Romney is "the kind of guy you want to pour a beer on".

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 11:39:15 AM PDT

    •  Incremental SOPA, if TPP doesn't outright (0+ / 0-)

      do the job.

      NOW SHOWING
      Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
      Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

      by The Dead Man on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 11:42:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's the big question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ontheleftcoast

      I generally do not approve of any new laws being passed in this area. The government doesn't usually need "help". We need new laws curtailing government power in this area, not the other way around.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 11:44:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It always amazes me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ontheleftcoast

      that we have millions of pages of laws on the books, yet they always need a new one.

      If speed is of the essence and they can't wait for a subpoena, change the process for doing so.  Get a 24/7 commission of judges who are always at the ready to grant or deny those subpoena.

      We do not need government spies filtering every packet moving over the internet on some massive fishing expedition.

    •  My support is for the infrastructure provisions (0+ / 0-)

      Yeah, this law will be misused to fund more pointless law enforcement crap, etc, etc.

      But I believe that the few large companies that do provide critical services must disclose severe security breaches.

      It's like banks and too big to fail. They didn't disclose their financials. They failed. We got screwed.

      Cybersecurity works similarly. Companies have security incidents, then sometimes sweep them under the rug. This can have serious consequences for preventing similar incidents. Security holes and incidents need to be openly shared and researched.

      The requirement is only on critical infrastructure; think the dozen or so largest Internet backbones, sites like Facebook and Google that have too many users for their own good, fiber optic landing sites, etc.

      No, I do not like the random crap like "protect people from physical harm" as part of a cybersecurity bill. I'm sure "necessary" will turn out to be "what we think is necessary."

      I guess I've resigned myself to the fact that something like this is going to get rammed through. At least the provisions and participation here are generally optional.

  •  This looks much better, from Lieberman's release (0+ / 0-)

    The ACLU detailing and being okay with the new measure puts me more at ease, especially. This new version actually has some decent oversight in it too.

    I can't recall if the incident reporting measure was in the original bill, but that's one of the few absolute requirements that's a positive. ("Require designated critical infrastructure -those systems which if attacked could cause catastrophic consequences - to report significant cyber incidents.")

    Incidents need to be reported, since the security community at large needs to know about them to address similar potential problems. Especially if you're big enough to run critical infrastructure...which is only a few dozen companies, really.

    Now, let's hope it doesn't get amended with stupid crap that un-fixes it.

  •  No (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paper Cup, George Hier

    What more do they need than the Patriot Act - which should be repealed?  How many more intrusions will we accept?

    Oops, forget to take my shoes off.

    Somebody said Party! I got excited. I love Parties! Especially Parties with exclamation marks! Now I'm sad because there's not a Party! h/t AnnetteK ;-)

    by EdMass on Fri Jul 20, 2012 at 11:58:42 AM PDT

  •  Off topic.... (0+ / 0-)

    Big swing towards Obama in todays Gallup tracker. He's +4 now; it was tied yesterday. He is also up 1 point in Ras.

  •  Do not want (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk

    No thanks. The fact that it was Judas who introduced this bill in the Senate crystallizes my opposition to it. Overzealous US Attorneys will trot out this new "For The Children" justification for whatever is now left that can't be classified as "terrorism".

    Do. Not. Want.

    Mr. President please Do Not Sign. sigh

  •  What does this thing do? (0+ / 0-)

       How does it affect Joe 6pak. Will the RIAA & MPAA be granted access to my hard drive?

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