President Obama threatened to veto a House bill on cybersecurity Wednesday, a dramatic-sounding move that's probably just part of a subtle push-and-pull over how to address the national security threat.
The House looks set to pass the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (aka, CISPA), which would require U.S. companies to protect themselves against cyber-attacks. (New York has a nice explainer.) Critics have said it'll promote "cyberspying," so the battle lines kind of recall the fight last year over SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills, (and not just because it has a catchy acronym), in that most people agree there's a real problem, they just wonder if Congress goes too far in addressing it.. The White House weighed in Wednesday with a formal veto threat, saying in a statement the President worried the bill would lead to "broad sharing of information with governmental entities without establishing requirements for both industry and the government to minimize and protect personally identifiable information."
Politico reported this morning that the House bill was really just intended to "spur Democrats to move — giving them the choice to either bring their own stalled bill to a vote or risk standing on the wrong political side of a national security issue." And even now, Rep. Mike Rogers sounds unconcerned, telling Politico. "We think we can answer questions to get it to a place where the president will sign it." Well, it certainly has spurred Obama to move. The only real takeaway today is that if this thing is ever to become law, it probably won't be in its current form.