The Obama administration is preparing a backdoor move to assert control over cyber security, according to a Wall Street Journal
The White House will issue an executive order any day now, after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said last week that the measure "is close to completion," according to Journal editors.
Sadly enough, the Obama administration helped destroy a compromise that the House had reached on the issue. The Senate split over the idea of mandating technology security standards for private companies, and that’s the idea the White House is trying to revive.
Better options exist, the editorial states. In April, the House approved a cyber-security bill on bipartisan lines. That bill “is a reasonable template for the Senate,” Journal editors write. “Sponsored by the senior Democrat and Republican on the intelligence committee, it allows companies and government to work together to combat cyber threats.”
Banks, chemical plants, and utilities, the most vulnerable targets, could gather information from government agencies like the National Security Agency and the FBI. “This bill and a Senate version offer companies liability protection to encourage them to monitor their systems and report attacks and breaches—something an executive order can't do,” Journal editors write.
But shortly before the House vote, President Barack Obama threatened to reject the bill, surprising Democratic co-sponsors. He cited privacy concerns. “If voluntary and sporadic sharing of company IT information constitutes a surveillance program in disguise — as privacy scolds suggest — it's the daffiest one ever invented,” the editorial says.
“The administration's evident motive is to impose government oversight of cyberspace.”
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