Obama, GOP square off after State of the Union

22 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Boehner’s Office Denies Cutting Climate Change Diss From State of the Union Video.

We are fifteen years into this new century. On Tuesday night, president Barack Obama appeared before the American people and again acknowledged digital data theft and data destruction as one of the most important issues facing the nation. “No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids.ThinkProgress, a liberal site backed by the Center for American Progress, published a story Wednesday noting that certain parts of President Obama’s State of the Union address—including his sharp criticism of Republicans who defend their stance on climate change by saying they aren’t scientists—weren’t included in video of the address posted by House Speaker John Boehner’s office. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world.

He tells an audience at Boise State University that like the school’s football team overtime victory in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, he too can achieve success late in his presidency. And tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information.” It was a rallying cry for greater “cyber security.” But according to many security experts, “security” and the specific cyber-security proposal the president unveiled last week could be a pretext for expanded, unchecked surveillance that may not actually make the nation safer.

The address, delivered each year in January to a live audience of political leaders, lawmakers, and invited guests and broadcast on television and the internet, acts as a summary of a US President’s legislative plans for the next 12 months. The ideas in the proposal face no strong political resistance especially since the information collection organism would not be the government itself but rather private companies reporting user information to the government. More of our kids are graduating than ever before; more of our people are insured than ever before; we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years. The president has been restrained in his discussions of what some consider to be the most significant cyber attack on a US entity in recent memory, the Sony hack. (Sony Pictures is a sub unit of Sony America and is still ultimately part of the Sony parent company, which is Japanese.) Obama called the hack an act of “cyber vandalism” not tantamount to war.

Previously the president signed a presidential memorandum that would provide federal employees access to paid sick leave to care for a new child and proposed a program that would allow students to attend two years of community college, tuition free. In addition to his initiatives to combat income inequality, the president took executive action that eased deportation for undocumented immigrants and opened the door for diplomatic and economic relations with Cuba. The key component of the proposal is, indeed, “integration.” Specifically, it affords private companies liability protection to share information with the Homeland Security Department’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.

Of interest to Australian legislators is a morale boost for advocates of an open internet, with Mr Obama referencing a continued commitment to net neutrality and promoting the installation of local broadband programs – integral, according to the President, in boosting the US economy. “I intend to protect a free and open internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks,” Mr Obama pledged. It was, in popular if clichéd Washington, DC parlance, “a game changer.” Joyce was not alone in that assessment. “We had seen cyber attacks but we’ve never seen a nation-state…destroy data,” former Rep. Also on his to-do list: addressing tax loopholes that allowed tech giants like Apple and Google to avoid paying significant US taxes and establishing free programs in community colleges – similar to technical colleges in Australia – for students. “For far too long, lobbyists have rigged the tax code with loopholes that let some corporations pay nothing while others pay full freight,” Mr Obama said. Republican presidents have proposed tax cuts for wealthy Americans, and Democrats simply reacted and tried to mitigate the damage to working families.

Traditionally, a response to the President’s speech comes from the opposition party and this year the duty fell to Republican Senator Joni Ernst, of Iowa. At this moment – with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production – we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth. Last night the president played offense and proposed tax credits and tax cuts that will help hard-working, middle-class families finally get a piece of the economic recovery.

The only technology issue referenced by Ms Ernst was acknowledgment of tax reform and the need to address cybersecurity – couched equally alongside pledges to counter Iran’s nuclear program and abortion. The White House, apparently mindful of shifting media use, expanded on the traditional multi-network TV broadcast with an extensive social media campaign and released the full text of the speech before the President began delivering it, through blog platform Medium, founded by Twitter co-founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone. But during his tenure, where he served as the head of the House Intelligence Committee, he earned a reputation as one the National Security Agency’s most stalwart allies at the agency’s moment of greatest shame. Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?” Americans are concerned about income inequality.

The bill that perhaps best characterized that reputation, House Resolution 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, never actually became law, having stalled in the Senate after passing the House. It was an idea that predates Rogers and CISPA—in 2008, the Bush White House put out National Security Presidential Directive – 54 that outlined the US interest in information sharing in the name of cybersecurity. CISPA would give companies the freedom to share user data with DHS where the info could then go to virtually any other law enforcement agency for use in any investigation related to crimes from drug trafficking to copyright infringement. It sent a clear message to some of America’s biggest companies: “We need you to do our spying for us.” Privacy advocates argued that the bill’s language was too broad.

The best thing about the president’s activism is that his job rating has increased significantly while he has been laying it out on the line for the last two months. The Washington Post-ABC News poll also shows that for the first time in a long time, there are more Americans who approve (50 percent) of the president’s performance than there are who disapprove (44 percent). Moreover, information sharing, while an essential component of comprehensive legislation, is not alone enough to protect the Nation’s core critical infrastructure from cyber threats. Shareable information does include anything that falls under the category of cyber threat indicator, which includes any data relating to “malicious reconnaissance, including communications that reasonably appear to be transmitted for the purpose of gathering technical information related to a cyber threat,” which could mean everything from attempting to access restricted files to—possibly—asking fairly routine questions about how a site runs or what a company does with user data. “The White House proposal relies heavily on privacy guidelines that are currently unwritten. Ben is back in construction – and home for dinner every night. “It is amazing,” Rebekah wrote, “what you can bounce back from when you have to…we are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very, very hard times.” America, Rebekah and Ben’s story is our story.

More disturbing for many in the technology community was a provision in the legislation to amend RICO laws in a way that could charge hackers, computer scientists, or just curious users with felonies just for finding—or searching for—security errors in web sites or services. You’re the people I was thinking of six years ago today, in the darkest months of the crisis, when I stood on the steps of this Capitol and promised we would rebuild our economy on a new foundation. Unless there is a carve out for research, the liability for clicking on links to security tools alone is worrying…even more so if RICO style laws are applied due to their broad nature and potential for abuse by aggressive prosecutors. We have had many decades to get used to prosecuting organized crime, but prosecuting technical computer crime is newer and harder to explain to juries. Hidalgo, discuss an experiment where they took a random sample of 1.5 million cell users over 15 months and found that, when locational cell phone data is anonymized, just four data points—information created by the anonymous user—was enough to effectively reveal the users identity for 95% of all users. “I agree, 100%.

Today, we have new tools to stop taxpayer-funded bailouts, and a new consumer watchdog to protect us from predatory lending and abusive credit card practices. Moreover, the information that the public shares with DHS, if it is in fact related to some future cybersecurity event, would likely be shared with the NSA.

Instead, we’ve seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled, and health care inflation at its lowest rate in fifty years. That’s what allowed the United States to so quickly attribute the attacks to North Korea, though many still claim the US is overlooking evidence of an inside job. We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance, or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix. Zoe Lofgren, D-California, who represents parts of San Jose (Silicon Valley) told The Hill: “I fear we may have taken the wrong lesson from these recent high-profile attacks.

Both political and public concerns about privacy and overreaching agencies have given way to worries about lost data and remotely hijacked infrastructure. “We are entering the post-Snowden era,” he claimed. I think this is an area that the President and Congress can work together.” Hurd, a former CIA operative, is considered rising star specifically on issues related to cyber security. In discussing the potential changes in RICO law, he was dim on any proposal that might harm cyber security research. “We don’t want to limit that. Like millions of hardworking Americans, Rebekah isn’t asking for a handout, but she is asking that we look for more ways to help families get ahead.

In fact, at every moment of economic change throughout our history, this country has taken bold action to adapt to new circumstances, and to make sure everyone gets a fair shot. This is one of those areas where reasonable people can be reasonable people.” Following the event at the Bipartisan Policy Center, Rogers loitered for a bit to glad-hand friends and fans who wished him well in his new career. That’s what middle-class economics is – the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. That means helping folks afford childcare, college, health care, a home, retirement – and my budget will address each of these issues, lowering the taxes of working families and putting thousands of dollars back into their pockets each year. During World War II, when men like my grandfather went off to war, having women like my grandmother in the workforce was a national security priority – so this country provided universal childcare.

It’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us. And to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it. But things like child care and sick leave and equal pay; things like lower mortgage premiums and a higher minimum wage – these ideas will make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of families. America thrived in the 20th century because we made high school free, sent a generation of GIs to college, and trained the best workforce in the world. Thanks to Vice President Biden’s great work to update our job training system, we’re connecting community colleges with local employers to train workers to fill high-paying jobs like coding, and nursing, and robotics.

Tonight, I’m also asking more businesses to follow the lead of companies like CVS and UPS, and offer more educational benefits and paid apprenticeships – opportunities that give workers the chance to earn higher-paying jobs even if they don’t have a higher education. We’re slashing the backlog that had too many veterans waiting years to get the benefits they need, and we’re making it easier for vets to translate their training and experience into civilian jobs. But there are also millions of Americans who work in jobs that didn’t even exist ten or twenty years ago – jobs at companies like Google, and eBay, and Tesla.

Let’s pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than thirty times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come. 21st century businesses, including small businesses, need to sell more American products overseas. That’s why I’m asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect American workers, with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe that aren’t just free, but fair. Look, I’m the first one to admit that past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype, and that’s why we’ve gone after countries that break the rules at our expense.

I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine – one that delivers the right treatment at the right time. I want Americans to win the race for the kinds of discoveries that unleash new jobs – converting sunlight into liquid fuel; creating revolutionary prosthetics, so that a veteran who gave his arms for his country can play catch with his kid; pushing out into the Solar System not just to visit, but to stay. Let’s simplify the system and let a small business owner file based on her actual bank statement, instead of the number of accountants she can afford. When we make rash decisions, reacting to the headlines instead of using our heads; when the first response to a challenge is to send in our military – then we risk getting drawn into unnecessary conflicts, and neglect the broader strategy we need for a safer, more prosperous world.

We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks, and we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we’ve done relentlessly since I took office to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us and our allies. Instead of Americans patrolling the valleys of Afghanistan, we’ve trained their security forces, who’ve now taken the lead, and we’ve honored our troops’ sacrifice by supporting that country’s first democratic transition. Instead of sending large ground forces overseas, we’re partnering with nations from South Asia to North Africa to deny safe haven to terrorists who threaten America. Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group. We’re upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small – by opposing Russian aggression, supporting Ukraine’s democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies.

Our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere; removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba; stands up for democratic values; and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people. As His Holiness, Pope Francis, has said, diplomacy is the work of “small steps.” These small steps have added up to new hope for the future in Cuba. In West Africa, our troops, our scientists, our doctors, our nurses and healthcare workers are rolling back Ebola – saving countless lives and stopping the spread of disease. In the Asia Pacific, we are modernizing alliances while making sure that other nations play by the rules – in how they trade, how they resolve maritime disputes, and how they participate in meeting common international challenges like nonproliferation and disaster relief.

And no challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change. 2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record. That’s why, over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever before to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it. That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. As Americans, we have a profound commitment to justice – so it makes no sense to spend three million dollars per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit.

As promised, our intelligence agencies have worked hard, with the recommendations of privacy advocates, to increase transparency and build more safeguards against potential abuse. It’s held up as proof not just of my own flaws – of which there are many – but also as proof that the vision itself is misguided, and naïve, and that there are too many people in this town who actually benefit from partisanship and gridlock for us to ever do anything about it. I’ve seen the hopeful faces of young graduates from New York to California; and our newest officers at West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs, and New London. I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in ten Americans call home.

And many of you have told me that this isn’t what you signed up for – arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fundraising, always looking over your shoulder at how the base will react to every decision. A better politics is one where we debate without demonizing each other; where we talk issues, and values, and principles, and facts, rather than “gotcha” moments, or trivial gaffes, or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people’s daily lives.

We still may not agree on a woman’s right to choose, but surely we can agree it’s a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows, and that every woman should have access to the health care she needs. Because I want this chamber, this city, to reflect the truth – that for all our blind spots and shortcomings, we are a people with the strength and generosity of spirit to bridge divides, to unite in common effort, and help our neighbors, whether down the street or on the other side of the world.

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