Tech Wars: Return of the CISPA – Breaking Analysis


As we discussed just yesterday, the President of the United States brought up cybersecurity in his latest State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Particularly, President Obama addressed an executive order over improving critical infrastructure cybersecurity.

In the order, Obama called for the congress to begin enacting legislation regarding cybersecurity, and it appears that our very own, Mark Hopkins’ prediction has come to fruition in less than 24 hours, considering it was only yesterday that he said “There’s no possible way you can look at this executive order and see anything good coming out of it.”

The no-good legislation with which congress has replied was answered in perhaps the most intellectually dishonest, and laziest possible of ways of doing so: By re-introducing CISPA, the wildly unpopular legislation from last year.

Why so unpopular, you may ask? Wheras, as Contributing Editor John Casaretto commented, “The executive order…the terms of it are quite voluntary,” CISPA’s regulations are far more dubious, as it forces companies to share their information with government agencies, and furthermore, grants immunity to service providers when they hand over their information – effectively, it’s a zero-accountability spy bill.

When discussing the latest moves by the government, Casaretto stated, “It has a lot of people spooked.” Such worrysome topics has a lot of us in the tech industry concerned over not only how it will affect things logysitically, but there’s no doubt that this issue extends into civil rights. As Casaretto added, “Hopefully it’s done the proper way.” – A sentiment all Americans, and by extension all internet users should be concerned about.

Though CISPA has been introduced, there’s a belief that perhaps it may just be acting as an immediate placeholder, as John went on to say “it’s a precursor to perhaps some new legislation, perhaps another…executive order later on, but the question is if we want to follow the track record.” And indeed, that is the big question now. Will the next bit of legislation honor civil rights, but enable the government to protect itself in more significant ways? Will further discussion of the issue lead to a more broad understanding of internet security? Will the internet suffer the same fate of regulatory capture as many forms of old media have? All very good questions, and all we will be sure to cover very closesly here at SiliconANGLE.

Have a happy Valentine’s day and for more analysis, view John Casaretto’s opinions from this morning’s NewsDesk with Kristin Feledy.


photo credit: VinothChandar via photopin cc