Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 27, 2015

Democratic Congressman Blames Senate, White House for Target Corp. Cybertheft

Rogers, right, and Ruppersberger hold a March 25 news conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rogers, right, and Ruppersberger hold a March 25 news conference. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 8:52 p.m. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, took aim at his own party’s leaders Tuesday, saying that if the White House hadn’t opposed the House-passed cybersecurity information sharing bill, and if the Democrat-controlled Senate had acted on it, then Target Corp. might not have suffered the cyber-breach last year where hackers stole data on as many as 40 million credit and debit cards.

“It’s really frustrating for us to work so hard and get a bill passed on House of Representatives,” the Maryland congressman said, only for it to go “to the Senate and unfortunately the White House was not in favor of our bill and yet we still got over 300 votes.”

“Look at Target as an example,” he said. “That’s on you, White House, and that’s on you Senate. If we passed that bill, we could’ve shared the information with Target and given them the information necessary to at least protect themselves.”

[Update: A senior administration official says “We have seen no indication that information sharing legislation would have had any impact on the Target breach.”]

Ruppersberger and House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., did praise the Senate Intelligence Committee for voting in favor of a cybersecurity information sharing bill, 12-3, last week. The pair made their remarks during a discussion about a new report on cyber-threats to the electricity grid, released Tuesday by the Center for the Study on the Presidency and Congress. Among the report’s recommendations is passage of a cybersecurity information sharing bill.

The Obama administration and civil liberties groups have criticized the House-passed bill, widely referred to by its acronym CISPA, for insufficiently protecting privacy. The legislation offers protection against lawsuits for companies that share threat data with the government, and seeks to expand the private sector’s access to government threat information. It is supported by industry.

Both backers and opponents acknowledge that fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations of bulk collection programs by the National Security Agency have slowed momentum on cybersecurity information sharing legislation.

Rogers said there are only “small differences” to be worked out between the House and Senate bills, although he refused to describe them. “Our thing is, we want to support them getting a bill on the floor and into conference committee so we can get a meaningful package that starts dealing with this problem,” he said.

Tom Ridge, the former Department of Homeland Security Secretary and current National Security Task Force chairman for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, co-chaired the Center’s report. He said neither party was particularly to blame, but rather a mind set.

“The sense of urgency seems to be missing on some issues. You’re elected to solve problems,” he said, naming the cyber-threat as one of the biggest. “We’re still sitting around talking about it. I really think that information sharing is a very, very significant first step.”

In a written statement, White House spokeswoman Laura Lucas Magnuson said:

Cybersecurity information sharing – with appropriate privacy protections – occurs today under existing laws and is used by sophisticated government and private sector entities to protect their networks. The Administration has consistently worked with Congress and other stakeholders, building upon the release of our legislative proposal in May 2011, to pass legislation that further expands the scale of current cybersecurity information sharing while carefully balancing privacy and liability protections.  The Administration also recognizes that information sharing legislation is not a silver bullet that could prevent all serious cybersecurity incidents, but a piece of broader legislative changes and operational efforts essential to protect individuals’ privacy and improve the nation’s cybersecurity.

Comments (17)

  1. Mary Wells

    July 24, 2014
    12:57 a.m.

    One thing I’ve noticed recently – Bolshevik ideologues love the word “reform”. It might actually be their favorite word.

  2. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    7:47 a.m.

    I?¦ll right away clutch your rss as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  3. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    7:25 a.m.

    I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thanks , I’ll try and check back more often. How frequently you update your site?

  4. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    3 a.m.

    Really Appreciate this update, can you make it so I get an email sent to me whenever there is a new article?

  5. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    7:56 a.m.

    I am not real good with English but I find this really easy to interpret.

  6. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    12:24 a.m.

    Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Today bloggers publish just about gossips and net and this is actually annoying. A good web site with exciting content, this is what I need. Thanks for keeping this site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can’t find it.

  7. Anonymous

    July 26, 2015
    12:08 a.m.

  8. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    7:07 a.m.

    You have observed very interesting details ! ps decent internet site.

  9. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    7:11 p.m.

    Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this site. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between usability and appearance. I must say that you’ve done a superb job with this. In addition, the blog loads extremely fast for me on Chrome. Excellent Blog!

  10. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    2:12 p.m.

    Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

  11. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    12:11 p.m.

    Some really nice and utilitarian info on this web site, besides I conceive the style holds great features.

  12. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    5:29 a.m.

    It¦s actually a great and useful piece of information. I am glad that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    5:40 a.m.

    Needed to post you that little bit of observation just to thank you very much over again for all the lovely suggestions you’ve documented in this case. It was really unbelievably generous of people like you to make unreservedly just what numerous people would have supplied for an e book to generate some money on their own, precisely now that you might have tried it if you ever decided. Those creative ideas additionally acted like the easy way to understand that some people have similar eagerness really like my personal own to know the truth a whole lot more on the topic of this problem. I am sure there are a lot more enjoyable periods up front for those who looked at your site.

  14. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    6:47 p.m.

    Thanks, I have just been searching for information about this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I have came upon till now. However, what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

  15. pierre woodman

    Aug. 15, 2015
    3:56 p.m.

    Really informative blog post.Really looking forward to read more.

  16. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    6:44 a.m.

    5Akagp There as certainly a lot to learn about this subject. I love all the points you ave made.

  17. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    10:04 a.m.

    6qrTHf This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I ave joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I ave shared your website in my social networks!

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...