What the cyber language in the State of the Union means to you

22 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Behind the pantomime.

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.AS MY colleague wrote yesterday, the fact that there is virtually no chance of any of the priorities outlined in Barack Obama’s State of the Union address becoming law during his administration renders the entire affair a sort of pantomime. 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.

As predicted, Republican responses to the speech ranged from dismissal to anger—or rather, mock anger; since it has always been clear that Republicans would reject anything Mr Obama were to offer up, their condemnations of his failure to reach out were pantomime too. For many observers this was the president at his most combative and radical yet, clear, forceful, and partisan . “Tonight, we turn the page,” he told the nation, refering both to the economic upturn – the seventh year of his presidency, but the first in which the economy is no longer in crisis, with job growth, fuel prices down, and falling deficits – and to the theme that he is determined will become central to US politics, economic fairness, inequality. Lynn Jenkins (R., Kan.) is expected to unveil Thursday the Republican counterpart to President Barack Obama’s proposal on 529 college-saving accounts. 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.

Mike Lee, a Republican senator from Utah, inadvertently captured the circular logic of the situation: “For him, it’s all 2016 partisan politics now, and Republicans shouldn’t waste time debating the merits of the president’s political talking points.” Of course, if Republicans are unwilling to debate the merits of Mr Obama’s proposals, one can hardly expect him to deliver anything other than political talking points. The Pacific deal has been crafted without China, the world’s most powerful exporter which has countered with its own proposal for a common trade region in east and Southeast Asia.

Obama issued a broad call for “a better politics” that began with common principles, and said his agenda isn’t political, pointing out “I have no more campaigns to run.” That drew rousing applause from the GOP side of the aisle, which had sat on its hands as Mr. And yet, paradoxically it would seem, at the point in his presidency when he has least power, when his ability to achieve his vision has been most atrophied.

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. The Atlantic deal is being negotiated with the European Union, and progress has slowed due to resistance on both sides to measures seen as weakening consumer protections and exposing local businesses to too much competition. Democrats and Republicans—including the White House and those in Congress and the emerging 2016 presidential field—have begun to coalesce around the idea that a lagging middle class is the major blemish on a recovery so far defined by a rising stock market, a falling unemployment rate and overall economic growth. While there are differences between, and even within, the parties over policy prescriptions, there is no dispute over what aspect of the economy will take focus.

Middle-class tax cuts, free community college, immigration reform, extended sick leave for working families and infrastructure investments are all ambitious and just goals. 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. After his speech, Republican Senator Joni Ernst applauded Obama’s proposal for the trade deals, though without directly endorsing fast-track authority. “Let’s tear down trade barriers in places like Europe and the Pacific. Congressional Republicans, seeking to claim the mantle of populist economics and empowered by their new Senate majority, plan to counter with bills they say are aimed at boosting the middle class.

On Tuesday Obama seemed to be saying “this is what I would do if you so-and-sos would let me, but I know you won’t.” This time it was less about achieving results than about setting the agenda for public debate between now and the next election. 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. Earlier on Tuesday a group of Democratic legislators gathered to demonstrate that they would vote against granting the president any special powers to negotiate the treaties. “I will oppose the administration because of the devastating impact that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will have on jobs and wages in this country. Indeed, part of his purpose almost certainly involved trying to tie the hands of Hillary Clinton, committing her to make the debate on the squeezed middle class, the profligate wealthy, and inequality central to her presidential bid, a theme the Democratic Party will embrace wholeheartedly, and she, less so. But for progressives watching the president’s speech on Tuesday, there was also a longing for what we haven’t been able to accomplish in the Obama era.

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. So far this year, Obama has stiffed the GOP agenda.”) Those of us sick of all this talk of empathetic nods and inches given or stiffed would prefer to find some way to talk about the content of governance. Obama’s threat may have been the broadest, with one of his threats covering everything from immigration to tweaking Obamacare to revamping the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms. The speech reflected the new go-it-alone “imperial presidency”, Obama in his final two years forced to rely on stretching to the limit his executive discretion to take action rather than relying on Congress.

Obama said during an event at Boise State University. “They should put forward some alternative proposals.” While congressional Republicans have said Mr. It’s true that campaigning and governing are wholly different exercises, but I don’t believe the president is good at one at the expense of the other. 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. Obama’s tax-raising proposals are non-starters, GOP leaders have said they are open to overhauling the tax code as long as it doesn’t raise net taxes. He promised vetos of Republican attempts to roll back his achievements or block his executive action initiatives – on ”Obamacare”, Wall Street regulation, climate change, relaxation of immigration controls, and a possible nuclear deal with Iran.

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. But one can look at its political reception to gauge whether this is an issue that effectively advances the Democrats’ attempts to force Republicans to take unpopular stances. 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. If so, it will be more likely to play a role in the party’s profiling over the next two years, as it readies its stance for the 2016 presidential elections. Since the only hope of getting significant legislation passed in America now seems to be winning an electoral trifecta and gaining control over the presidency and both houses of Congress, the first key question to ask about any proposed legislation is whether it furthers that goal for the party that proposed it.

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. Will we allow ourselves to be sorted into factions and turned against one another – or will we recapture the sense of common purpose that has always propelled America forward?

Martha Roby (R., Ala.) was prepared to introduce a bill on Thursday that would allow private-sector workers the option of using overtime as paid time off, rather than extra pay. 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. 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.

For example, is the Earned Income Tax Credit still the best way to address inequality, or does it fail to reach the poorest because they are unemployed? Obama’s proposals to raise taxes on the wealthy. “What really happened is a bunch of the recovery over the last several years has gone to such a small segment of the population,” Mr. The key, though, is to look at policy proposals not in isolation, but as moves in a long game that gradually determine the shape of policy proposals on each side. 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.

Privacy protections and use restrictions must be in effect before information sharing occurs,” Harley Geiger, the senior counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology said in a press release following the announcement. 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.

But it’s a pantomime of actions and attitudes that are real, or may eventually become real if one side amasses the power to push legislation through America’s hopelessly creaky, antiquated, broke-down political system. Jenkins’s plan would retain the current tax treatment of the college savings plans, with some tweaks, such as allowing the savings to be used to buy computers. 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. In that case there probably isn’t much point paying attention to American democratic politics at all, and I recommend switching to a good hockey match. 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. Rogers himself was more cautious but he acknowledged that the involvement of the president in passing cyber-sharing legislation was a “significant change,” possibly enough to push something through. 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. As he got on to an elevator, Defense One asked him if he felt at all validated that the president’s proposal so closely resembled Rogers’s bill, the one that the president had vowed to veto.

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.

That’s why the third part of middle-class economics is about building the most competitive economy anywhere, the place where businesses want to locate and hire. 21st century businesses need 21st century infrastructure – modern ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest internet. 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 intend to protect a free and open internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world. 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.

Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material. 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. I want future generations to know that we are a people who see our differences as a great gift, that we are a people who value the dignity and worth of every citizen – man and woman, young and old, black and white, Latino and Asian, immigrant and Native American, gay and straight, Americans with mental illness or physical disability.

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