Opposition to the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) has already forced changes to the bill but this opposition might end up sending it back to the drawing board.
The White House Office of Management and Budget has issued a lengthy statement in opposition to the bill, which includes a veto threat. OMB says the bill "departs from longstanding efforts to treat the Internet and cyberspace as civilian spheres."
The grounds for the White House opposition are substantial:
- "H.R. 3523 fails to provide authorities to ensure that the Nation's core critical infrastructure is protected while repealing important provisions of electronic surveillance law without instituting corresponding privacy, confidentiality, and civil liberties safeguards. [...]"
- "The bill also 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. [...]"
- It would "inappropriately shield companies from any suits where a company's actions are based on cyber threat information identified, obtained, or shared under this bill, regardless of whether that action otherwise violated Federal criminal law or results in damage or loss of life. [...]"
- And finally, it "effectively treats domestic cybersecurity as an intelligence activity and thus, significantly departs from longstanding efforts to treat the Internet and cyberspace as civilian spheres. [...]"
"If H.R. 3523 were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill," OMB said. As of this morning, the bill was slated to be voted on Friday. No word yet whether this development will change that. Let's not take any chances.
Please, tell your representative to join with President Obama in opposing this bill, and to vote no on CISPA.
2:16 PM PT: The bill's sponsors, Chairman Mike Rogers and Ranking Member C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, issued a statement basically blowing off the White House's opposition.
“The basis for the Administration's view is mostly based on the lack of critical infrastructure regulation, something outside of our jurisdiction. We would also draw the White House's attention to the substantial package of privacy and civil liberties improvement announced yesterday which will be added to the bill on the floor. The SAP was limited to the bill in "its current form"—however, as the bipartisan managers of the bill announced yesterday—they have agreed to a package of amendments that address nearly every single one of the criticisms leveled by the Administration, particularly those regarding privacy and civil liberties of Americans. Congress must lead on this critical issue and we hope the White House will join us."
Since when is regulation outside of Congress's jurisidiction? It's in the Senate version of the bill. Privacy concerns, like the fact that collected data would go to intelligence agencies when it shouldn't go beyond Homeland Security, haven't been answered in the changes, nor has immunity for private companies for liability in misusing data. They're lying.