Security

White House says it would veto CISPA as it is

The White House announced today that it would turn down CISPA, a cyber-security bill that focuses on information-sharing, if Congress presented to the president in its current form.

“The Administration still seeks additional improvements and if the bill, as currently crafted, were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill,” the White House said in a statement today.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act was recently voted through the House Intelligence Committee, bringing it one step closer to the president’s desk. The House is slated to vote on the bill tomorrow, causing activist groups to call for people to tweet their representatives and make noise about the proposed legislation. It seems the White House has the loudest voice today.

If passed, CISPA would head to the Senate next.

The Obama administration has already once turned down the bill, saying it need amendments before it can be made into law. Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) made a few amendments to the bill, including the removal of language that says the information collected through CISPA could be used for “national security” purposes.

The White House says that it’s still looking for more amendments and “should adhere to the following priorities:

  1. Carefully safeguard privacy and civil liberties
  2. Preserve the long-standing, respective roles and missions of civilian and intelligence agencies
  3. Provide for appropriate sharing with targeted liability protections

The statement goes on to say that people shouldn’t have to fear companies having “immunity” if they share information that puts people’s civil rights in harm’s way.

“Citizens have a right to know that corporations will be held accountable – and not granted immunity – for failing to safeguard personal information adequately,” said the White House. “Specifically, even if there is no clear intent to do harm, the law should not immunize a failure to take reasonable measures, such as the sharing of information, to prevent harm when and if the entity knows that such inaction will cause damage or otherwise injure or endanger other entities or individuals.”

Dutch Ruppersberger image via RDECOM/Flickr

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