The Office of Management and Budget published an email saying that if the new anti-piracy law known as CISPA reaches the president’s desk in its nowadays form, his senior advisors will recommend him to veto the bill.
The email says that the proposed bill should address critical infrastructure vulnerabilities without having to sacrifice the human rights of the citizens, particularly when the country is facing challenges to economic well-being and national security. Although the Administration of the President wants to engage with the Congress to enact cybersecurity law to tackle these critical issues, if CISPA were presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto it.
There are many reasons why the office opposes the suggested legislation, like the bill “significantly departing from long-standing efforts to treat the web as civilian sphere”. In response, the creators of the legislation explained that the recent revisions take into account each criticism levelled by the Administration, especially those about privacy and civil liberties of people.
The legislation is set for a vote before the House of Representatives. Meanwhile, the EFF pointed out that Rep. Rogers is convinced that the CISPA is an information “sharing” law. Although this may sound innocent, the truth is that the bill itself is a surveillance bill as well. Indeed, its provisions allow private companies to monitor network traffic and stored information (like private e-mails) with no oversight or legal accountability.
Moreover, the legislation creates expansive legal immunity, making outfits and the government largely unaccountable to users. So, the law will grant surveillance power to private entities, bypassing the existing rights to sue under other laws. This means that if CISPA passes, the organizations will lose their legal right to protect your privacy, like federal or state privacy laws keeping them from sharing sensitive personal data.
An amendment was proposed to file lawsuits against the federal government if it violates some restrictions on the use of the obtained information, bit in practice it’s meaningless. In fact, it only allows a lawsuit if brought within 2 years of the date of the violation and exempts all information received by the government from the Freedom of Information Act.