The Public Eye with Eric Chabrow

Obama Threatens to Veto DHS Bill

Legislation Includes Funds for Einstein, Continuous Monitoring
Obama Threatens to Veto DHS Bill

President Obama has threatened to veto a bill before the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to fund the Department of Homeland Security that includes $328 million for the Einstein intrusion detection and protection program as well as a new, $202 million initiative to continuously monitor federal IT networks for malicious cyber activity.

See Also: The Cybersecurity Swiss Army Knife for Info Guardians: ISO/IEC 27001

But in a Statement of Administration Policy, the White House pointed to a number of other items - not the cybersecurity ones - as the reason behind the veto threat. In fact, the statement says the administration "appreciates the support the bill provides for cybersecurity initiatives."

In some ways, the veto threat is good news for those wanting federal government cybersecurity reforms soon. Democrats and Republicans, for the most part, generally agree on some fundamental ways to codify IT security practices, and the administration statement suggests that some type of compromise bill could make it through both houses and land on Obama's Oval Office desk.

What's unlikely in 2012 is more comprehensive legislation that also would give DHS more authority over civilian agencies in determining federal cybersecurity policy as well as federal regulations on the private owners of the nation's critical IT infrastructure, positions backed by the White House but opposed by most Republicans.

It's been about a decade since Congress enacted the Federal Information Security Management Act and the E-Government Act. Though not as momentous, perhaps important cybersecurity legislation can become law this year.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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