This Week in Tech: House to revive battle on cybersecurity

ADVERTISEMENT
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is aimed at improving information-sharing about cyber threats between government and industry so cyberattacks can be thwarted in real time. Civil-liberties groups and privacy advocates rallied hard against CISPA last year, arguing that the measure lacked sufficient privacy protections and would increase the pool of people’s electronic communications flowing to the military and secretive National Security Agency.

The White House shared those concerns about the effect CISPA would have on people’s privacy rights and issued a veto threat against it. It’s unclear how the White House will respond when the bill is re-introduced on Wednesday.

The Obama administration is widely expected to issue its cybersecurity executive order in the days following President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. It’s also expected to be released before RSA’s annual cybersecurity conference at the end of the month, according to two people familiar with the administration's thinking.

In the president’s address last year, Obama made a brief mention about the cybersecurity legislative blueprint that his administration put forward in May 2011. Some are expecting that he will make another reference to the need for improved cybersecurity defenses this year.

Others will be keeping an eye on the president’s comments regarding immigration reform this year. In his address last year, the president called for high-skilled immigration reform and for Congress to ease regulations that prevent entrepreneurs from securing financing for their startups.

On Wednesday the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing of the year on comprehensive immigration reform. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is scheduled to testify.

In addition, the House Energy and Commerce Committees’ Communications and Technology subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday morning to examine satellite television regulation. The law granting satellite providers the right to retransmit broadcast TV signals is scheduled to expire in December 2014.

The hearing will be the first in a series discussing whether to reauthorize or revise the law.

On Thursday, CompTIA is holding a trio of policy panels that will cover cybersecurity, the FirstNet nationwide network and the Startup Act 2.0, scheduled to be introduced next week by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).

Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, will discuss the challenges facing the film and television industry in a speech on Friday at the National Press Club.

One week before the Oscars, Dodd will discuss how innovations are changing his industry and the importance of films to the national economy.

The MPAA, along with its allies in the recording industry, aggressively lobbied for the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) during the last session of Congress. But a massive Web protest led Congress to drop the legislation, and lawmakers are now reluctant to touch the issue.

Dodd could discuss his organization’s plans for protecting copyright owners in the wake of the resounding defeat of the anti-piracy bill.