After an amended version of CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, passed in the House, the White House reiterated their plan to veto the bill ?in its current form? if it reaches the President?s desk. It isn?t that they do not like the concept of the bill, but they are more supportive of a bill by Joe Lieberman that is a lighter version
Today, CISPA is not on the radar the way that SOPA and PIPA were. There are a few reasons for this, most importantly that big business and technology giants are not as opposed (and in some cases are showing support) to the bill the way they were with SOPA/PIPA. They like the power that it gives them over data and the protections it grants them against lawsuits when privacy is involved.
CISPA is the most destructive piece of legislation that has ever worked its way through Washington. It gives unprecedented powers to both government entities and private companies to gather, store, and share our personal data for the sake of cybersecurity without defining what the threats really are. They have left the important parts ambiguous to keep it as sweeping as possible.
They have made it into a true virtual ?big brother? piece of legislation and every iteration does little to change that.
If it passes the Senate and hits the President?s desk, the election will be determined by whether or not he signs it or vetoes it. A signature will gain much-needed campaign donations but will give the Republicans the opportunity to point out Barack Obama?s flip-flop and attacks on American freedoms. A veto will play well in the public but it would turn the legislation into a non-issue for the election and could damage the President?s fund-raising.
That?s the standard perception. The reality is this: social media will become the most powerful election tool if it is allowed to pass. It will not be something that can be swept under the rug. The quiet giants will be awakened and their judgment will be harsh. Reddit, Anonymous, Wikipedia ? today they are anxiously watching but a Presidential signature would bring about their wrath.
Conversely, a veto would yield much stronger support from the ?geeks? in ways that neither the White House nor the Republicans fully understand at this point. Both underestimate the power of a single issue when the amplification of the internet is put into play. It will make the elder Bush? famous ?read my lips? issue seem like a minor election point. It will sway the election in ways that politicos simply do not understand.
If CISPA reaches the President?s desk, his veto will win the election for him while a signature would lose it for him. This relatively-minor issue today will explode in one direction or another once it leaves Capitol Hill. Will the President and his staff recognize it as such or will they look at where the campaign dollars are when making his choice?