“Executive Order vs. CISPA
Last night, Obama called on Congress to do even more on cyber security. Two members of the House, in fact, plan to re-introduce the controversial CISPA information-sharing bill today, but it has not secured the support of the White House. A bill backed by the administration was introduced in the Senate last year, but did not make any major headway.
The main difference between the White House executive order and CISPA is that CISPA would allow private companies (like Facebook or Google) to share details about cyber attacks with the government, whereas the executive order is a one-way street, with the feds sharing information with the private sector. CISPA opponents were concerned about immunity clauses that they said would incentivize companies to hand over customer information without hesitation.
As a result, the White House threatened to veto CISPA if it made it to President Obama’s desk. The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a statement that said the bill “departs from longstanding efforts to treat the Internet and cyberspace as civilian spheres.”
In a statement last night, the ACLU issued its support for the executive order and warned against CISPA. “The president’s executive order rightly focuses on cybersecurity solutions that don’t negatively impact civil liberties,” said ACLU Legislative Counsel Michelle Richardson. “For example, greasing the wheels of information sharing from the government to the private sector is a privacy-neutral way to distribute critical cyber information.”
Broadband trade association USTelecom said the executive order “takes some important steps toward achieving policy goals that will help protect our nation from harmful threats,” but said the issue should ultimately be handled by Congress – via bills like CISPA.”