CISPA: The tech policy world is abuzz over the reintroduction of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, a controversial measure that drew the ire of open Web advocates because of the bill’s measures on privacy and intellectual property.
Technology policy analysts and activists were quick to say Wednesday that the measure, as written, does not address the key concerns they had with CISPA when it was introduced in the last session.
Calling the bill “flawed,” Sharon Bradford Franklin of The Constitution Project said she has lingering privacy concerns about what information companies can share with the federal government.
“While the goal of protecting our nation's networks from cyberattacks is a laudable one, Congress must also address the very real threat this legislation poses to Americans' privacy rights and civil liberties,” she said.
Reaction to cybersecurity executive order:
There was swift reaction to the cybersecurity executive order that President Obama released Tuesday in conjunction with State of the Union address. Most lawmakers, including Obama, said that the executive order was a good first step, but that the conversation needed to continue with further action from Congress.
As The Washington Post reported, the order directs the Commerce Department to work with federal agencies and industries, such as banking and electricity, to come up with standards for sharing information on cyber threats.
In a statement, the Center for Democracy and Technology praised Obama for an order that addresses privacy concerns from the beginning of the design process rather than after the fact.
"By explicitly requiring adherence to fair information practice principles, the order adopts a comprehensive formulation of privacy,” said the group’s president, Leslie Harris. “The annual privacy assessment, properly done, can create accountability to the public for government actions taken in the name of cybersecurity.”
Tech gets lots of attention in State of the Union: Major tech policy issues, including immigration reform, American manufacturing and a focus on science, engineering, technology and mathematics education were mentioned prominently in President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.
The speech included prominent mentions of major technology companies Intel and Apple, both of which were highlighted for their efforts to bring some technology manufacturing back to the United States.
Online sales tax: A bipartisan group of senators is reportedly set to reintroduce a bill that would push for online sales tax legislation, according to a Wednesday post from the Hill.
Christine Mulka, a spokeswoman for Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), told the news organization that members of the House also were set to reintroduce an identical companion bill, which would allow states to tax online purchases.