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House Passes Cybersecurity Bill Despite POTUS Veto Threat

Despite a recent veto threat from President Obama, the House on Thursday passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which would facilitate the sharing of data and other information between businesses and the federal government.  The legislation, which passed by a vote of 288-127, was co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Rep. Charles Ruppersberger (D-Md.).


According to the Washington Post, the “legislation would require the Intelligence Community Inspector General to produce an annual review of the government’s use of shared information. It would not compel companies to share cyber threat information with the government, according to a summary of the bill.”


President Obama on Tuesday publicly threatened to veto the legislation, citing the broad scope of liability limitations as potential cause for concern.  In a Statement of Administration Policy, the President stated, “Citizens have a right to know that corporations will be held accountable – and not granted immunity – for failing to safeguard personal information adequately.”


National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden further addressed the administration’s concerns: “We have long said that information sharing improvements are essential to effective legislation. But they must include proper privacy and civil liberties protections, reinforce the appropriate roles of civilian and intelligence agencies, and include targeted liability protections.”


In February, the President issued an Executive Order titled, “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity.”  The order, which was issued in response to congressional inaction with regard to cybersecurity, sought to improve the information sharing facilities between government agencies and the operators of “critical infrastructure,” and create a voluntary “Cybersecurity Framework” for the operators of “critical infrastructure.”



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