Magazine article American Banker

Cybersecurity Should Not Come at Expense of Privacy: White House

Magazine article American Banker

Cybersecurity Should Not Come at Expense of Privacy: White House

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Browdie

The White House says the nation needs new laws to reinforce its cyber defenses but that the push should not come at the cost of privacy.

The House of Representatives on April 18 passed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, which would encourage owners of financial networks, utility grids and other critical infrastructure to share information about digital threats with the government and one another.

The White House has threatened to veto the bill, saying it lacks sufficient privacy protections. Civil liberties groups and other critics of the measure charge that it would allow companies to share people's emails and text messages with U.S. intelligence agencies.

"The President has been clear that the United States urgently needs to modernize our laws and practices relating to cybersecurity, both for national security and the security of our country's businesses -- but that shouldn't come at the expense of privacy," Todd Park, the White House's chief technology officer, and cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel, wrote on Tuesday in response to a petition posted in February on the administration's "We the People" online site.

The petition, which called on the administration to oppose CISPA, had garnered 117,576 signatures as of Thursday afternoon.

Companies should be able to share information about cyberattacks with the government and each other, according to the officials, who said the government would use the information to help prevent future intrusions.

"When it comes to information sharing, we need clearer rules to promote collaboration and protect privacy," Park and Daniel wrote. "Right now, each company has to work out an individual arrangement with the government and other companies on what information to share about cyber threats. …

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