This is HUGE: President Obama just threatened to veto CISPA if it makes its way through Congress.
CISPA is up for a vote this week. It would obliterate any semblance of online privacy in the United States, giving the government — including the military — broad new powers to spy on Internet users.
The White House’s letter expresses precisely the concerns that we’ve been highlighting over recent weeks — and is a result of the public pressure against CISPA:
- The White House says that any cybersecurity legislation must preserve “Americans’ privacy, data confidentiality, and civil liberties and [recognize] the civilian nature of cyberspace.”
- It says that, “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.”
And the letter goes on to assert that:
The American people expect their Government to enhance security without undermining their privacy and civil liberties.
Without clear legal protections and independent oversight, information sharing legislation will undermine the public’s trust in the Government as well as in the Internet by undermining fundamental privacy, confidentiality, civil liberties, and consumer protections.
This is an amazing development. Let’s make the most of it:
PS- We only have a few days left to kill CISPA. Please tell your friends to get involved by forwarding this email or using these links:
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CISPA sponsors Rogers and Ruppersberger had said they would back some amendments to answer privacy concerns and other questions about the bill. Ruppersberger said part of the reason why the Obama administration issued a veto threat against the bill is because it favors the cybersecurity bill from Lieberman and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). But that legislation is stalled amid partisan turf wars.
“What we’ve been told now from the Senate is the Lieberman bill isn’t moving — at this point the votes aren’t there,” Ruppersberger said. “We need to protect our country today. We’re being attacked as we speak. [CISPA] is the only mechanism to move forward.”
Testifying before the Rules Committee earlier Wednesday, Rogers had appeared confident. “We think we can answer questions to get it to a place where the president will sign it,” Rogers said.
In its statement, the administration expressed concern that CISPA, as written now, would allow “broad sharing of information with governmental entities without establishing requirements for both industry and the government to minimize and protect personally identifiable information.”
“Moreover, such sharing should be accomplished in a way that permits appropriate sharing within the government without undue restrictions imposed by private sector companies that share information,” the statement continues.
White House advisers recommend a veto of the bill.
So what do you think? Should we let them keep up this rancor? We DO NEED security of the internet, but not the crap that they seem to always stuff in legislation like this. P.S. North Korea has 1,000 cyber-warriors standing by…..