White House Promises Veto of CISPA if Drastic Changes Aren’t Made Before Vote

The White House has warned lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives that if they send him the current version of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) it will be vetoed by the President. While Politico says that House Republicans are preparing to take it to the floor for a vote, it should be noted that CISPA has plenty of bipartisan support. The House Rules Committee held a session this week to weigh amendments to the bill, led by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.).

As that was going on, the White House issued a formal policy statement saying that the President's advisers would recommend that he veto the bill unless there were significant changes that addressed privacy concerns, and added protections for personal information and altered the bill's liability protection language.

"The administration looks forward to continuing to engage with the Congress in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion to enact cybersecurity legislation to address these critical issues," the White House statement read. "However, for the reasons stated herein, if H.R. 3523 were presented to the president, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill."

The administration's statement on CISPA pointed out that the bill 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" in its current form.

"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 continued.

The administration further noted that the current version of the bill lacks "sufficient limitations" about sharing personal information between entities, and inadequate protections on what that data could be used for. The administration also raised issues with its tact on liability protections.

"H.R. 3523 effectively treats domestic cybersecurity as an intelligence activity and thus, significantly departs from longstanding efforts to treat the Internet and cyberspace as civilian spheres," the statement notes.

Despite the threat of a veto, a vote on CISPA is expected later this week. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), one of the key sponsors of the Senate's counterpart bill, said that his cybersecurity reform measure could be up for a vote on the Senate floor sometime next month.

Source: Politico

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