White House criticizes bill clarifying Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center missions

The Obama administration said senior advisers would recommend that the president veto the act partially because of its simultaneous limits on the CTIIC and expansion of its missions.
The Obama administration said senior advisers would recommend that the president veto the act partially because of its simultaneous limits on the CTIIC and expansion of its missions.

After the House Intelligence Committee approved the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 this past week, which clarifies the creation of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC), the White House issued a statement and criticized the act's standing on the CTIIC. It also said that senior advisers would recommend President Obama veto the bill if it were presented to him.

The committee-approved act defines the center as the “primary organization within the Federal Government for analyzing and integrating all intelligence possessed or acquired by the United States pertaining to cyber threats.”

The center will also ensure that all departments and agencies receive the full intelligence support needed to “execute the cyber threat intelligence activities of such agencies and to perform independent alternative analyses.”

Furthermore, it will coordinate cyber threat intelligence activities and conduct strategic cyber threat intelligence planning for the federal government.

Even with all these responsibilities, the center will not be allowed to employ more than 50 permanent positions, and it will be located in a building owned or operated by an “element of the intelligence community.”

The White House Administration noted in its statement that it intended the center to focus on “connecting the dots” around malicious foreign cyber threats and cyber incidents affecting U.S. national interests. The bill, however, “seeks to significantly expand CTIIC's roles and responsibilities,” the statement said.

Expanding the center's responsibilities while simultaneously limiting its hiring are “unnecessary and unwise,” and could even risk the CTIIC “being unable to fully perform the core functions assigned to it in the bill.”

The statement recommended reviewing the responsibilities and sticking to those named during Obama's speech, which spurred the center's creation.

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