Obama considers executive order in wake of Cybersecurity Act failure

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, September 17, 2012 20:16 EDT
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Computer hacker via Edw / Shutterstock
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The Obama administration is considering issuing an executive order to achieve some of the aims of the Cybersecurity Act, which died in the Senate in August.

“Following congressional inaction, the President is determined to use existing executive branch authorities to protect our nation against cyber threats,” John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, wrote in a letter to Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. “Specifically, we are exploring an Executive Order to direct executive branch departments and agencies to secure our nation’s critical infrastructure by working with the private sector.”

TechDirt last week published what it claimed was a draft version of the executive order.

The draft proposes an information sharing system between private companies and the federal government regarding cybersecurity threats.

The vague proposal would put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of implementing the new cybersecurity apparatus, which aims to protect so-called “critical infrastructure” from Internet-based attacks.

President Barack Obama had threatened to veto the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) over privacy and civil liberty concerns. The President later backed the Senate’s Cybersecurity Act, which included more privacy protections than CISPA.

Unlike the Cybersecurity Act, the draft of the executive order does not contain provisions related to protecting Americans’ privacy.

[Computer hacker via Edw / Shutterstock]

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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