Why Marlin Steel and others are saying the Cyber Protection Act makes sense

May 10, 2013 | Steel Wire Products, American Manufacturing, News, Publications & Events

Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt was interviewed by Mary Beth Mardsen on the afternoon "Maryland's News Now" program on WBAL-AM about the cyber protection legislation that passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Maryland Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat who represents the South Baltimore community where Marlin Steel is located, and Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, co-sponsored the legislation, which faces an uphill climb after being approved 288-127 by the House. The Senate may not take up and the White House has signaled a veto if the Senate does approve it.

Here is the audio from Monday's interview, in which Drew Greenblatt explains the importance of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act in regards to manufacturing job growth. Fortifying government to be more effective in combating hackers -- "We need more police on the beat" -- would mean companies such as Marlin Steel could invest more of a finite pie in hiring workers and other activities that propel commerce and less on cyber security, he says:

Drew Greenblatt Interview

We also came across a trenchant legal analysis of the bill by Paul Rosenzweig on the blog Lawfare. The author, founder of Red Branch Consulting, a homeland security consulting company, dissects H.R. 624 with the precision of a Marlin Steel press brake (+/- 10 microns ... sorry, couldn't resist the plug).He concludes that the bill isn't as onerous as critics contend, yet more muddled than supporters would like after much reworking. He describes it as the product of "unappealing ... sausage-making," but that's also the definition of how democracy is meant to work. Indeed, the bill was one of the more bipartisan efforts of substance to emerge from the House in many moons.
There was also a positive column in Roll Call this week by Brian Finch, a partner at the law firm Dickstein Shapiro, titled "US Must Move Beyond CISPA for Cybersecurity." He argues that the bill is only a piece of the solution and the danger is too real and too close for hand-wringing to be Washington's only response.
Meanwhile in U.S. News, Jeff Nesbit writes that a threatened Internet blackout to protest CISPA weeks ago never amounted to much because major communications providers such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Google and Facebook favor the legislation.

Leading the opposition against CISPA is the former owner of the social network Reddit. It is an inopportune time for Reddit's creator to warn about the danger of information overreach, however. A Brown University student was found dead after amateur sleuths on Reddit wrongly identified him online as a suspect in the Boston bombings before the Tsarnaev brothers were identified. The student had disappeared a month before the marathon and his death is under investigation. Reddit apologized.

Safeguarding privacy and fighting cyber threats are both important goals. They not mutually exclusive. There needs to be a solution.