New budget documents indicate that the Pentagon is quietly backing a controversial cybersecurity bill. The Defense Department’s proposed 2014 budget includes a series of cybersecurity items which closely mimic CISPA, a proposed congressional bill which has civil libertarians outraged. According to Nextgov’s Aliya Sternstein, the Pentagon is seeking funding for a real-time “comprehensive coordinated cybersecurity information sharing system that will serve as the foundation for cybersecurity information sharing requirements across the government.” This request is at the center of CISPA.
Statements made by Gen. Keith Alexander of Cyber Command at a March hearing indicate that the Defense Department wants a new legal framework for cybersecurity; CISPA is the most likely candidate at the moment. Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have raised civil liberty concerns over the government having access to data submitted by tech companies such as Apple and Google. Tech industry lobbyists, however, are backing the bill–they see it as a less draconian alternative to closer government monitoring. CISPA would create a public-private cybersecurity framework monitored by the NSA.