(RT) Barack Obama has signed an executive order on cybersecurity following rumors that he would do so. In his State of the Union address he cited “growing threat from cyber-attacks” as the reason he used his executive power against the will of lawmakers.
America must face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks, President Obama told the nation in his address.
“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.”
Years from now Americans cannot look back and wonder “why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy,” Obama said.
The order directs government officials to come up with standards to reduce cyber security risks within the next 240 days and encourage companies to adopt the new framework. It however has no legal power to force companies to adopt the framework of cybersecurity best practices.
The framework will be technology-neutral and aimed at addressing security gaps in the computer networks of crucial parts of the country’s infrastructure – the electric grid, water plants and transportation networks.
Obama urged Congress to follow his lead and pass legislation giving Washington “a greater capacity to secure networks and deter attacks.”
The order is seen as a direct response to Congress’ refusal to pass the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) last year in light of serious privacy concerns.
This week, following a series of cyber espionage and hacking attacks on US facilities, the same version of CISPA that was turned down last August is expected to be reintroduced before the US House.