Get flash to fully experience Pearltrees
This blog post was originally posted on the Daily Kos website here. A coalition of Internet advocacy organizations (including the ACLU, DailyKos, and my own, the Government Accountability Project) and individuals are launching a week of action to combat the CISPA , the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. We aim to leverage popular outrage to oppose this dangerously broad bill, which is cloaked as a beneficent-sounding "cybersecurity" law.
One thing we've talked about for years is that lawmakers are notoriously bad at thinking through the unintended consequences of legislation they put forth. They seem to think that whatever they set the law to be will work perfectly, and that there won't be any other consequences. This is one reason why we're so wary of simple "fixes" even when the idea or purpose sound good up front. "Protecting artists" sounds good... unless it destroys the kinds of services artists need.
Cyber threats are real and have affected major corporations. China-based hackers have even tapped into personal information from journalists at the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Action needs to be taken to prevent future cyber attacks. That’s what the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act set out to achieve.
In a speech at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York, Mr. Panetta painted a dire picture of how such an attack on the United States might unfold. He said he was reacting to increasing aggressiveness and technological advances by the nation’s adversaries, which officials identified as China, Russia, Iran and militant groups. “An aggressor nation or extremist group could use these kinds of cyber tools to gain control of critical switches,” Mr. Panetta said. “They could derail passenger trains, or even more dangerous, derail passenger trains loaded with lethal chemicals.
After defeat of Senate cybersecurity bill, Obama weighs executive-order option - The Hill's Hillicon ValleySenate Republicans recently blocked cybersecurity legislation, but the issue might not be dead after all. The White House hasn't ruled out issuing an executive order to strengthen the nation's defenses against cyberattacks if Congress refuses to act. “In the wake of Congressional inaction and Republican stall tactics, unfortunately, we will continue to be hamstrung by outdated and inadequate statutory authorities that the legislation would have fixed," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in an email. "Moving forward, the President is determined to do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation against today’s cyber threats and we will do that," Carney said. The White House has emphasized that better protecting vital computer systems is a top priority. The administration proposed its own legislation package in 2011, sent officials to testify at 17 congressional hearings and presented more than 100 briefings on the issue.
Over the last three years savvy business interests managed to water down a bill to beef up America's cybersecurity - and then Thursday it drowned. Key industries played one chamber against the other and one party against the other, knowing precisely where to toss their monkey wrenches. What they did not do: race to self-regulate to appease Congress the way industries in the crosshairs usually do -- a sign that they believed they'd win in the end.
The Lede : After more than two years of work, Sen. Joe Lieberman's (I-Conn.) Cybersecurity Act suffered an apparently fatal blow in the Senate on Thursday when the bill's supporters were unable to muster the votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. The final vote was 52-46, but 60 votes were needed to move the legislation forward. The Senate later voted to break for its August recess.
President Obama stressed the need for the Senate to pass "comprehensive cybersecurity legislation" in an op-ed published hours after a revised cybersecurity bill was introduced in the Senate. "We need to make it easier for the government to share threat information so critical-infrastructure companies are better prepared," wrote Obama in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. "We need to make it easier for these companies—with reasonable liability protection—to share data and information with government when they're attacked.
Revisions that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) made to his Cybersecurity Act seem to have appeased privacy advocates who lobbied against an earlier version of the bill. Michelle Richardson, a legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), told The Hill that Lieberman and other co-sponsors made "substantial changes" and undertook a "Herculean effort to build privacy protections" into the bill. Sharon Bradford Franklin, senior policy counsel at The Constitution Project, applauded the changes, saying they "go a long way toward alleviating our concerns." "The amendments address key civil liberties concerns that have dogged the cybersecurity debate," agreed Leslie Harris, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology. The statements mark a major shift for the privacy groups, which had urged the Senate to reject the previous version of Lieberman's bill to prevent an erosion of civil liberties.
Cyber-attacks are a rising threat, and President Obama has increasingly toughened his stance on online security in order to meet them. Obama published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal imploring Congress to immediately pass the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, a move underlining how strongly he feels about the bill's passage. But Obama's opinion on the subject hasn't always been so hawkish -- his preoccupation with securing U.S. cybersecurity has escalated over the course of his political career, especially as online threats escalate in scale and frequency.
In the heels of the biggest blackout that happened in India, where three electric grids collapsed in a cascade Tuesday cutting power to 620 million people, CISPA - the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act - is getting bombarded with amendments from both sides of the Senate aisle. CISPA would increase protections for the nation's electrical grid, financial networks, transportation system and other critical infrastructure. But it also gives the government, including military spy agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA), virtually unlimited powers to capture our personal information — medical records, private emails, financial information — all without a warrant or proper oversight. Every media report on CISPA raises the fear of a cyberattack on "critical infrastructure" like the electric power grid.
The U.S. Congress has been considering two significant cybersecurity bills, the Revised Cybersecurity Act of 2012, which failed a procedural vote in the Senate on Thursday, and the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) in the House of Representatives.* Their significance comes from their shortcomings: Both bills have fallen prey to the limits of the current American political climate, where special interests and disputes over the appropriate role of government have combined to harm national security -- and, as a result, neither will do much to protect the United States from cyberthreats. Congress knows that weak cybersecurity endangers the country -- and that America is dangerously unprepared -- but it cannot muster a majority to support serious defensive measures. The same forces that have kept Capitol Hill in gridlock on many important issues have also blocked effective cybersecurity legislation.
It’s time to beat down CISPA that wants to beat down our 4th Amendment rights. It’s still surprises me how CISPA passes the House of Representatives a couple of months ago. Now we need our Senator to OPPOSE the bill that threaten our privacy. But lets just say CISPA passed the Senate and President Frank Marshall Davis.Jr AKA Barack Obama sign it into law. Good news?
While political leaders often write columns for a national newspaper, it is rare that it would be on national cyber security. So when I saw that US President Barack Obama had written an 800 word column titled ‘Taking the cyber attack threat seriously' for the Wall Street Journal, it was worth reviewing his comments. Obama used this column to review recent military strategy meetings and concluded with the line ‘It's time to strengthen our defences against this growing danger'. He admitted that the next adversary could be a cyber one, rather than a directly physical attack. He admitted that a simulation of cyber attacks similar to the attacks on SCADA-based water systems in the US last year showed how well federal, state and local governments and the private sector could work together in a crisis, and this was ‘a sobering reminder that the cyber threat to our nation is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face'.