The Obama administration has formally declared its opposition to the draconian Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).
CISPA is up for vote in Congress this week, but a top White House official has now confirmed that President Obama and his closest officers are opposed to the bill.
Once the United States Congress has voted on CISPA, and if the vote successful, the next step is to pass it up the line to Obama for his signature.
The Guardian has reported that Alec Ross, a senior adviser to Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, has reiterated that top officials under President Obama are pushing to keep the legislation from being signed.
Ross explained: "The Obama administration opposes CISPA. The president has called for comprehensive cybersecurity legislation. There is absolutely a need for comprehensive cybersecurity legislation.”
CISPA, however, would do much more than just implement measures to make the U.S. Internet safe from terrorism threats. If the bill is approved, CISPA would allow both the federal government and also private companies to infiltrate personal emails and social media interaction on the internet and to eavesdrop on American citizens under the guise of cybersecurity.
Ross adds that the White House is telling Congress, “we want legislation to come with necessary protections for individuals.”
If CISPA is successfully signed, this would not be a reality.
Digital Journal reported yesterday on Ron Paul's opposition to CISPA where he stated:
"CISPA permits both the federal government and private companies to view your private online communications without judicial oversight provided that they do so of course in the name of cybersecurity."
"Simply put, CISPA encourages some of our most successful internet companies to act as government spies, sowing distrust of social media and chilling communications in one segment of the world economy where Americans still lead."
While President Obama has stressed his disapproval of CISPA, RT reports that the White House publicly planned to veto the National Defense Authorization Act for 2012. There had been major criticism of this bill and what would be the indefinite detention of American citizens.
Initially the White House wrote to Congress stating that parts of the bill would bring “dangerous and unprecedented challenge to critical Executive branch authority to determine when and where to prosecute detainees,” would constrain counterterrorism efforts and undermine national security.
The White House formally announced on November 17, 2011: “Any bill that challenges or constrains the President’s critical authorities to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, and protect the Nation would prompt the President’s senior advisers to recommend a veto.” In regards to the military custody provisions inside the NDAA, the White House added that they spawned "serious and unsettled legal questions and would be inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets.”
However, the bill was signed by the President just 6 weeks later on New Year's Eve.
RT has theorized that given how quickly Obama's stance changed over the NDAA, it is quite possible that the same thing could happen in relation to CISPA.
Video: Obama condemns monitoring abroad as Congress pushes CISPA