A top White House cybersecurity official struck a diplomatic tone Friday in criticizing the latest cybersecurity bill to come out of the House.
Michael Daniel, White House cybersecurity coordinator, said that he "commends" House members for their work on CISPA, the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act, which passed the House last week, adding that "there are still some adjustments that need to be made...in order for that bill to be acceptable to the administration."
Speaking at a cybersecurity conference hosted by George Washington University and U.S. News, Daniel framed the current fight against cyber threats as a losing battle, as the law struggles to keep up with cyber attackers. However, he also stressed that there are limits on what the administration is willing to do to fight those threats.
"We're deeply committed to protecting privacy and civil rights," said Daniel, adding that the Obama Administration is committed to using the "least action necessary" to counter cyber threats.
For now, it appears that progress on cybersecurity legislation has stalled due to those privacy concerns. As U.S. News reported earlier this week, a representative of the Senate Commerce committee said they will refuse to take up CISPA, meaning that Senators would themselves start drafting their own legislation. CISPA would allow private companies like social networks and cell phone service providers to turn over personal user data to the government.
Citing privacy concerns, President Barack Obama has also said that he would veto the bill.
Still, the need to fight cyber threats is a vital issue going forward, said Daniel. As more and more parts of the nation's infrastructure are interconnected, the cyber threat to infrastructure grows ever greater, he said. He also added that greater cybersecurity is vital to fighting countless other threats, including traditional espionage.