The Libyan Opposition and the Cybersecurity Proposal: Today’s Q’s for O’s WH – 5/12/2011

May 12, 2011 2:01pm

TAPPER:  The Libyan opposition is coming here tomorrow and to meet with the national security adviser, but not with President Obama. Is there a reason?

CARNEY:  I think I just answered this question with Erica (Werner of Associated Press).  I mean, I — he's meeting with the national security adviser to the president.  I don't — I don't know that others may or may not be part of that meeting, but I think it's an important meeting; his first trip to Washington, first trip to the White House in his capacity, at least, as far as I know, and –

TAPPER: Oh, sorry, I missed that.

CARNEY:  That's OK.

TAPPER: The other question I had was about the cybersecurity plan.  Is there a reason — she asked about that, too?

CARNEY:  Yeah.  (Laughter.)

TAPPER: Is there a reason the cybersecurity plan does not impose a fine, as opposed to the Lieberman-Collins-Carper plan had a fine if a company — their plan was deemed insufficient, their cybersecurity

plan was deemed insufficient?  And the administration's plan does not have a fine, rather it has more of a shame mechanism, where the administration can call out the company publicly.  Is that because it

will be easier to get through a Republican House, or are there political considerations, or is — what's the reasoning behind it?

CARNEY:  Well, let me step back and say that I think you all got the notice that for your cybersecurity reporting colleagues there's a — will be a conference call at 1:00, moments from now.  So I hope your colleagues are aware of that, and for details on this proposal — which we do believe will garner bipartisan support because it's a very important issue.

And the specifics, in terms of how it differs from other legislation, there's a lot of legislation up there, so there are differences in details, obviously, with many other proposals.  But the overall effort — the overall goal of this proposal is to better protect the American people from cybercrime and identity theft, to better safeguard critical infrastructure as well as the federal government's computers and networks, and to better protect individuals' privacy and civil liberties.

Now, there's — in all those things, there's a balancing effect that you need to reach so that security is protected, privacy's protected. And I think that would go to industry as well.

TAPPER: Right, but, I mean, there are a lot of individuals who have been calling for tougher cybersecurity measures.  The administration says that there are too many vulnerabilities right now and that's why

this needs to happen.  And one of the arguments for fines is companies are not doing it and they need to have the threat –

CARNEY:  I think –

TAPPER:  — of a financial penalty or else they won't do it, as is the case right now.

CARNEY:  Well, I think we believe that the approach that's put forward in this proposal would serve as a strong incentive for those industries that this would affect to take the necessary measures to — for cybersecurity.  And, you know, again, more details, I think, in terms of how we think this would work and why it's the best approach can be provided by our cybersecurity experts, if not on this conference call, maybe on another one.  But I don't have any more details for you on that.

-Jake Tapper

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