Obama Announces Cybersecurity Executive Order

Pledges New 'Voluntary' Information Sharing

by Jason Ditz, February 12, 2013

As expected, President Obama used the State of the Union Address to announce a new executive order on cybersecurity, including the creation of a “voluntary” system of information sharing with government agencies for businesses.

The announcement avoids the specific efforts to encourage businesses to violate customers’ privacy, and instead focuses on developing “best practice” standards which it will simply encourage, and not initially force, companies to go along with.

The order avoids the specific controversies surrounding the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), and likely will take some pressure off Congress for having to act immediately on passing another version of the unpopular bill.

Yet whether the executive order route is actually less intrusive than CISPA is going to be a long-term question, as it doesn’t lay out exactly what these “best practices” are going to wind up being, and what consequences businesses may face for declining to go along with the nominally voluntary program.

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