Obama Administration Says CISPA Still Has Some Issues

IT Management

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On Wednesday, CISPA came closer to reality as it passed the markup phase in the House Intelligence Committee. Now the bill has to make it through the House, then the Senate, and finally the President's desk. That last one may have just become a little harder, however, as the administration doesn't necessarily like what it sees in the cybersecurity bill.

The Obama Administration has finally issued a statement in regards to its stance on the controversial CISPA bill that's expected to go before the House next week. The statement, written by Caitlin Hayden, a National Security Council spokesperson, says the newly amended CISPA is a good start, but doesn't go far enough in protecting civil liberties:

"We continue to believe that information sharing improvements are essential to effective legislation, but they must include privacy and civil liberties protections, reinforce the roles of civilian and intelligence agencies, and include targeted liability protections. The Administration seeks to build upon the productive dialogue with Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Ruppersberger over the last several months, and the Administration looks forward to continuing to work with them to ensure that any cybersecurity legislation reflects these principles. Further, we believe the adopted committee amendments reflect a good faith-effort to incorporate some of the Administration's important substantive concerns, but we do not believe these changes have addressed some outstanding fundamental priorities."

This new statement comes almost a year after the White House issued its first statement in opposition to CISPA. At that time, the statement was much longer, and tore CISPA a new one. The old statement also ended with a veto threat.

It's unfortunate then that this new statement contains no such thing. The new one doesn't even address any of the specific failings in CISPA. It would have been nice to see the administration explicitly state it was against granting companies immunity when they share private information with government, or that it was against the bill allowing companies to share information directly with the NSA. We could assume that the administration, based upon last year's statement, was against these provisions in CISPA yet again, but its silence doesn't inspire confidence.

Regardless, it's nice to see that the White House still has some issues with CISPA. It would have been even nicer to see the administration issue a veto threat, but this will have to do for now. Now we can only hope that the White House finally addresses the CISPA petition that got over 100,000 signatures last month.

[LA Times via TechDirt]