The We The People petition opposed to the Cyber Intelligence Security Protection Act (CISPA) has reached the 100,000 signatures it needed to amass in order to guarantee an official White House response.
The people behind the petition are hoping that it will force President Obama into making his position clear about the controversial act.
Nearly a year ago, Obama told supporters he would veto CISPA over increasing concerns that it would allow government agencies to bypass privacy laws and garner personal information of citizens from web companies. Privacy advocates are ardently opposed to the act and back when it first came to Congress in 2012, the White House seemed certain Obama would not put pen to paper on it, because the privacy issues were so fraught.
Since then however things have changed. CISPA did fail in 2012 but has since been reintroduced, appearing once more in February 2013. Another factor was the unexpected retirement of Obama’s cybersecurity coordinator, Howard Schmidt, whom it is believed played an important part in the President’s anti-CISPA stance. Obama has also issued an executive order that put forward his own idea of cybersecurity and this contains some of the provisions proposed by CISPA.
Cybersecurity is also a pressing matter for the government at the moment after recent reports came to the conclusion that the Chinese army was responsible for hacking U.S networks and media outlets.
These many factors have led CISPA author Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) to insist that Obama will change tack from his previous promise to veto such an act and agree to pass it.
A White House representative said that Obama’s advisors would not reiterate a stance on CISPA unless it passed the House and made it to the Senate. The representative stressed however that cybersecurity laws should make it easier for companies to share information with federal agencies, but that they “must include proper privacy and civil liberties protections.”
CISPA’s supporters believe that the bill has the adequate privacy protections in place to be acceptable, an opinion vehemently disputed by privacy advocates fighting tooth and nail to get the act quashed once more.
Source: Daily Dot