As if history were repeating itself, the approval of the 2014 Fiscal National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Capitol Hill was over-shadowed by a trivial controversy that was hyped by media.
Two years ago, President Obama signed the first NDAA during New Year’s Eve after publically protesting the legislation and threatening to veto.
Just this week, while the public has been distracted with drama and sensational news headlines, the lawmakers presented Obama with the current approved version of police state legislation that hand over $607 billion to the Pentagon, $527 to build bases across the globe and $80 billion to finance global military operations.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the 2014 NDAA “is legislation that … puts muscle behind America’s most important strategic objectives around the globe.”
Senator Jay Rockefeller ensured that attached as a rider to the 2014 NDAA, proposal S 1353, there would be CISPA-like measures to maintain cybersecurity efforts with the backing and support of the federal government.
Rockefeller said his bill “creates an environment that will cultivate the public-private partnerships essential to strengthening our nation’s cybersecurity. I’ve always thought this was a great way to emphasize the critical need for a public-private approach when it comes to solving our most pressing cybersecurity issues.”
Back in April, the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) has been stalled in the Senate after being approved in the House of Representatives.
According to senators and staff members, there are additional bills being drafted that will protect cybersecurity while allowing digital information to be shared by federal agencies and private sector corporations; including internet service providers.
Should a “threat” present itself, the current incarnation of CISPA will allow corporations such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft to hand over personal user information.
According to an anonymous member of the US Senate Committee on Commerce: “We’re not taking [CISPA] up. Staff and senators are divvying up the issues and the key provisions everyone agrees would need to be handled if we’re going to strengthen cybersecurity. They’ll be drafting separate bills.”
Ensuring that CISPA is implemented, regardless of whether it is passed into law, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III spoke at the Center for Strategic Decision Research’s 28th International Workshop on Global Security wherein he outlined the Defense Industrial Base Cyber Pilot (DIBCP).
The DIBCP aligns the Department of Defense (DoD), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and “participating defense companies or internet providers” to make sure that the US government’s digital infrastructure is protected and each federal agency can communicate with private sector corporations.
Lynn said: “Our defense industrial base is critical to our military effectiveness. Their networks hold valuable information about our weapons systems and their capabilities. The theft of design data and engineering information from within these networks greatly undermines the technological edge we hold over potential adversaries.”
In April, the House of Representatives approved the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) which gives the Obama administration the power to impose taxes online.
Online businesses would collect a local and state sales tax for online purchases and the tax will be decided by the state where the purchaser resides.
Just before the new version of CISPA was presented to the House, it included a provision that would empower employers to demand Facebook passwords and logins as a condition of employment to spy on their employees.
House Representative Mike Rogers, co-author of CISPA, claims that the bill does not infringe on American’s 4th Amendment rights with regard to setting up concentrated government surveillance on the internet.
Rogers said: “It does something very simple: it allows the government to share zeroes and ones with the private sector . . . a critical bipartisan first step for enabling American’s private sector to defend itself . . . improves cybersecurity without compromising our civil liberties.”