Cyber Roundup (4/25): Pres. Obama threatens CISPA veto, Al-Qaeda Seeks cyber-attack skills, Russia gathers support for a UN cyber treaty, and Iran’s cyber army

Yet another busy night in cyber news . . .


Jonathan Allen and Jennifer Martinez reported for Politico on how the Obama administration threatened to veto CISPA if it arrived at the presidents desk in its current form.  Notably, the administration wants to see more privacy protections for users' personal information.  Some House Republicans doubted that President Obama would actually go through with the veto.  CISPA is expected to pass on Friday. 

Molly Berhnart Walker wrote for FierceGovernmentIT and quoted James Lewis, CSIS, on cybersecurity legislation: "There are some very useful bills in the House and they'll do some good things, but the ultimate test will be: Do you give the government more authority to mandate security at critical infrastructure facilities? If we don't do that this year, an attack is inevitable."

Along the same lines, Sens. Joe Liberman, Susan Collins, Jay Rockefller, and Dianne Feinstein wrote an op-ed for The Hill which called for cybersecurity legislation that secures critical infrastructure.  The op-ed was basically a criticism of CISPA's lack of mandatory cybersecurity standards for private critical infrastructure companies, and by extension, an argument for the CSA (which contains mandatory cybersecurity standards).

Jennifer Martinez reported for Politico on the House GOP's strategy behind passing CISPA.  Specifically, the House GOP wants to spur Senate Democrats to move on cybersecurity legislation by "giving them the choice to either bring their own stalled bill to a vote or risk standing on the wrong political side of a national security issue."  The article noted that the Senate is in gridlock over the debate between the CSA and Secure IT.  CISPA's passage might force Senate Democrats into conference, ultimately creating a hybrid bill.


Tony Capaccio reported for Bloomberg on how Read Adm. Samuel Cox, CyberComm's intel chief, believes that Al-Qaeda is looking to acquire the ability to stage cyberattacks against the U.S.  According to the article, Adm. Cox believes that Al-Qaeda is no where close to that capability, but that could change in an instant.  To that end, Al-Qaeda could easily hire some hacker with the necessary skills.


Adrian Croft reported for Reuters on how Russian officials are gathering support for a UN convention that would fight internet crime and terrorism.  The West generally opposes such proposals because they limit free speech and seek to control the open nature of the internet.  The article hinted at an upcoming battle between the West (and those who desire to maintain the internet's open nature) and those that want to regulate the internet through UN treaty (notably Russia and China).


Shaun Waterman reported for The Washington Times on how the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is building a cyberarmy that could target U.S. critical infrastructure.

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Professor William Snyder

Professor William C. Snyderis a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University after fifteen years with the United States Department of Justice.

Ryan D. White

Ryan D. WhiteRyan is currently a third year law student at Syracuse University College of Law, and is also pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Ryan spent time with Homeland Security Investigations while pursuing his undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University, and spent his first summer of law school as clerk for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York. He is a member of Syracuse Law Review, the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and participates in the Veteran’s Legal Clinic. Full biography

Shelby E. Mann

Ryan D. WhiteShelby is a second year law student at the Syracuse University College of Law. She is the 2018-9 Editor in Chief of the Syracuse Law Review, as well as a member of the Journal on Terrorism and Security Analysis, and the senior editor for the Syrian Accountability Project. During her final year at the University of Missouri, she served as a full-time news producer for ABC 17 News. Shelby spent her first summer of law school at the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office in Memphis, Tenn., in the Public Corruption and Economic Crimes Unit. Full biography

Christopher w. FolkChristopher W. Folk

is a 2017 graduate of SU College of Law. A non-traditional student, Christopher returned to academia after spending nearly twenty years in the high tech industry. Christopher served in the Marine Corps, graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. In Applied Economics and Business Management, attended Northeastern University’s High-Tech MBA Program and received a M.S. In Computer Information Systems. Christopher previously worked in Software Engineering. Christopher is currently serving his second term as Town Justice for the Town of Waterloo. Christopher externed with a Cybersecurity firm in the Washington, D.C. area between his first and second year at SU College of Law. Full biography

Anna Maria Castillo

Anna Maria Castillois 2016 graduate of Syracuse College of Law. She also holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. She has interned at a London-based think-tank that specializes in transnational terrorism and global security and at the legal department of a defense contractor. She served as an executive editor in the Syracuse Law Review. Full biography

Jennifer A. CamilloJennifer A. Camillo

is a 2015 graduate of Syracuse College of Law and is a prosecutor. She has served as a law clerk in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York and the Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office and as an extern in the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office. She was a member of the Syracuse National Trial Team and was awarded the Tiffany Cup by the New York Bar Association for her trial advocacy achievements.

Tara J. PistoreseTara J. Pistorese

holds Juris Doctor and Masters of Public Administration degrees from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and its College of Law. She wrote for this blog when a student. She is now a member of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.

Benjamin Zaiser

is both a scholar and a Federal Agent of the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany. (Opinions expressed here are his own and not any part of official duty.) Full biography


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