CISPA May Follow The Obama Cybersecurity Executive Order

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

CISPA May Follow The Obama Cybersecurity Executive OrderCISPA May Follow The Obama Cybersecurity Executive Order

CISPA has been described as a bill that would “waive every single privacy law ever enacted.” The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011 is back. Are the recent attacks on The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other U.S. institutions responsible?

Obama’s executive order on cybersecurity announced during the President’s State of the Union Address is what put CISPA back into motion. During last night’s address, the President urged Congress to pass CISPA, which shows he changed his mind about the bill.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) was first introduced in the House on November 30, 2011, passing just six days later. At the time, President Obama disagreed with CISPA even going so far as threatening to veto the cybersecurity bill. And Representative Jared Polis, a former web entrepreneur, said CISPA would “waive every single privacy law ever enacted in the name of cybersecurity."

However, news reports from the last few years show the U.S. government has been preparing for this scenario for some time. Pentagon’s latest announcement to hire thousands of IT Professionals to boost U.S. cybersecurity is an indicator of this. In fact, the Department of Defense has been increasing its cybersecurity operations since 2008, after a major compromise of classified military computer networks. It is probable that CISPA plays a part in the Pentagon’s long-term cyberstrategy which was drafted in 2010.

So what does strengthening cybersecurity have to do with CISPA?

CISPA is designed to help U.S. government agencies investigate cyber-attacks by providing them with ready access to virtually any online data without a warrant. Information sharing between federal agencies and private companies would have “limited oversight and privacy safeguards.” 

On the surface, CISPA looks like an improvement in cybersecurity investigations by streamlining the process. And in 2011 CISPA supporters said that the law was necessary in order to deal with foreign cyber-attacks mainly those originating in China and Russia. However, Rep. Ron Paul called it “Big Brother” and said it was “the latest assault on Internet freedom.”

Kasia Lorenc is a contributor to Tom's IT Pro. Combining her love of IT and marketing, she currently serves as the Director of Technology and Search Marketing for Zacuto USA in Chicago.

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