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White House threatens to veto CISPA cybersecurity bill, ahead of Friday's vote

White House threatens to veto CISPA cybersecurity bill, ahead of Friday's vote


The White House has threatened to block CISPA even if it is approved by the House of Representatives this week.

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On Friday, the US House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA for short. It's a controversial bill, to be sure. Supporters, including a who's who of tech industry firms, say that having government and corporations share internet data is necessary to ensure network security and national defense. Detractors claim it would allow private companies to misuse their customers' personal data without fear of legal retribution, as long as they claim the sharing is for cybersecurity purposes. Even should the bill pass, though, the White House has threatened a veto: today, a letter from the Executive Office of the President (PDF) says that the Obama administration strongly opposes CISPA due to a lack of civilian oversight and privacy protections.

H.R. 3523 fails to provide authorities to ensure that the Nation's core critical infrastructure is protected while repealing important provisions of electronic surveillance law without instituting corresponding privacy, confidentiality, and civil liberties safeguards.Technically, the White House says it's interested in such a cybersecurity bill in general, but says that "Citizens have a right to know that corporations will be held legally accountable for failing to safeguard personal information adequately," and that the Department of Homeland Security needs to have an oversight role. The administration seems particularly worried about the bill shielding private companies from lawsuits if they share personal data with the government, no matter the consequences of that action.

We'll bring you more on CISPA later this week; for now, find the full text of the White House statement at our source link.