President Obama Just Signed a Cybersecurity Executive Order

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Before President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union and shouted out 3D printing, he signed a new cybersecurity executive order with the goal of preventing cyber attacks by allowing companies and the government to share information they have on cyber threats.

If that sounds a lot like CISPA, it kind of is, but this time the White House promises that federal agencies are "required to implement privacy and civil liberties protections". We'll see what that actually means when the final version is revealed.

The Hill reports that the executive order would make the National Institute of Standards and Technology work with companies to develop a "framework of cybersecurity best practices". According to The Hill:

The framework will be technology-neutral and aimed at addressing security gaps in the computer networks of critical infrastructure, such as the electric grid, water plants and transportation networks.

A draft of version the framework is due in 240 days and the final version will be published within a year.


President Obama actually mentioned signing the cybersecurity bill in his State of the Union address. In the full text of his speech made available online, Obama acknowledged the threat of cyber attacks and the need for cyber security:

America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. We know hackers steal people's identities and infiltrate private e-mail. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, and our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.

That's why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy. Now, Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks.


[The Hill, NY Times]