updated 05:50 pm EDT, Wed April 25, 2012
Obama administration ups the ante over bill
The struggle over the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) reached a new level today, Politico reports, with the White House threatening to veto the controversial security bill should it manage to reach the president's desk. The veto threat came even as House Republicans were preparing to bring their version of the bill to the floor for a vote.
The debate centers on several broad provisions within the bill, which critics contend will allow companies to share private information with other companies and the federal government, even in violation of existing state and federal wiretap regulations.
Administration officials expressed a desire to continue negotiations with the Congress to amend the bill to meet their concerns, but were steadfast in their contention that the bill would receive a presidential veto were it to pass without significant alterations. White House officials have expressed support for the Senate version of the bill, which they claim includes more protections for user privacy and civil liberties, as well as narrowly crafted liability protections.
Backers of the bill, confident that they can amend it to address the administration's concerns, brushed off the veto threat as simply political noise.
As it has gotten closer to a floor vote, CISPA has encountered increasing resistance from both governmental and non-governmental opponents. The Electronic Frontier Foundation blasted the bill earlier this month, launching a campaign to rally Internet users against the legislation and, later, penning an open letter in opposition to the bill. Not-for-profit global campaigning organization Avaaz.org set up an anti-CISPA petition, which has garnered over 766,000 signatures to date.