Obama Could Issue an Executive Orders on Cyber

The White House may use an executive order to boost the nation’s cyber defenses following the failure of major cybersecurity legislation in the Senate last week. “In the wake of Congressional inaction and Republican stall tactics, unfortunately, we will continue to be hamstrung by outdated and inadequate statutory authorities that the legislation would have fixed,” the White House press secretary said. The Cybersecurity Act, sponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), garnered only 52 votes, well short of the 60 needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. Some GOP senators, led by John McCain (R-AZ), felt that even a softened version of the bill, one without minimum security mandates for critical infrastructure operators, would overburden businesses with regulation.

Analysts say the president could issue an executive order that would enact many of the failed cyber bill’s central provisions, including guidelines on minimum security standards. President Obama has used executive orders in the past to circumvent Congress. When the so-called Dream Act failed in the legislature, the White House announced it would no longer deport young immigrants who would have been able to stay in the United States under the bill.

The New York Times speaks to three Silicon Valley cybersecurity experts about the failed legislation: Rob Rachwald, director of security strategy at Imperva, a network security firm; Roger Thornton, chief technology officer of AlienVault, a threat detection service; and Mark Seward, a senior security director at Splunk, a data security firm.

Source:  The Hill, LATimes, WashPost, NYT

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