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Obama’s cybersecurity order fosters intelligence sharing

SEATTLE – President Obama on Tuesday issued an executive order designed to get the federal government and private companies working more closely to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure against cyberattacks.

The widely expected directive was signed just before the president’s State of the Union address. It was prompted by Congress’ failure to pass cybersecurity laws that would compel companies to share information about cyberattacks with federal authorities.

“After the failure of comprehensive cybersecurity legislation last year, the need for immediate executive action was clearly apparent, and I applaud the President for taking on this difficult task,” says Rep. Jim Langevin, D-RI.

Obama assigned the National Institute of Standards …more

Obama ready to issue cybersecurity executive order

SEATTLE — Reaction to an impending cybersecurity executive order could be as polarized as the debate that hog-tied Congress from enacting new laws to assure basic Internet safety.

President Obama is expected to release a cybersecurity executive order on Wednesday, the day after his annual State of the Union address, according to a report in The Hill. The online publication cited two people familiar with the matter. White House spokesperson Caitlin Hayden refused to comment.

Asked at a press briefing Monday whether Obama will speak about cybersecurity in the State of the Union, White House spokesman Jay Carney declined to get into specifics. “You know that …more

Will Congress make Obama’s Privacy Bill of Rights law?

Getting a divided Congress to pass any hard-edged privacy legislation is the next big hurdle President Obama faces in getting his Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights made the law of the land.

“We urge the Administration to ensure that it carries out this process in a fair and transparent manner, and that consumer voices are heard and acted on,” Susan Grant, Director of Consumer Protection at Consumer Federation of America, adds:

In an unusual move, the White House convened a press conference at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday to announce the details, imposing an embargo – which all media outlets accepted without question – to midnight. Here are …more

Obama calls for a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

By Byron Acohido, USA TODAY, 23FEB2012, P1B

The White House on Wednesday unveiled a strongly worded “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights’’ as the linchpin for a drive to get Congress to pass new laws protecting consumers privacy as they surf the Internet.

The announcement came as Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and attorneys general from 35 other states sent a letter to Google complaining about a new privacy policy which will give the search giant greater latitude to track people using computers and mobile devices, with no way to opt out of being tracked.

One of the seven privacy rights, unveiled at a press conference by Commerce Secretary …more

DHS has slightly reduced role in Langevin’s cybersecurity bill


A spokesman for Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., has just contacted LastWatchdog to point out that Langevin’s cybersecurity bill, which is the major comprehensive one in the House, is not exactly the same as the White House proposal.

The major difference is that Langevin’s bill calls for a  National Office for Cyberspace with the Office of the President to oversee the security of agency information systems and infrastructure. While the Langevin bill entrusts the Department of Homeland Security with a  significant role, this is a bit different than the White House and Senate versions, which basically center everything in DHS.

Here is a  summary of Langevin’s proposed cybersecurity  …more

Disclosure of IMF, Google hacks support cybersecurity legislation

By Byron Acohido, USA TODAY, 15June2011, P1B

The recent rash of disclosures about cyberspying — aimed at undermining the United States — comes as the White House is making its third attempt to push through a historic federal cybersecurity law.

The timing is no coincidence, some cybersecurity analysts say. After two previous bills went nowhere, the White House needs to garner public support for a new law that could equip America for cyberwarfare.

UPDATE -Click here: DHS has slightly reduced role in Langevin bill vs. White House and Senate versions


“The best …more

Coalition launches global online safety campaign: Stop. Think. Connect.

By Byron Acohido, USA TODAY, Oct. 4, 2010, page 3B

SEATTLE — Stop. Think. Connect.

That’s what a high-powered coalition of federal agencies, tech companies, retailers and non-profit groups want you to do every time you use the Internet.

Today, the group launched a milestone public awareness campaign. The goal: to engrain “stop-think-connect” as deeply into culture as the seatbelt reminder “click-it-or-ticket” and Smokey Bear’s quote, “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

“Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility for all of us,” says Joe Sullivan, Facebook’s chief security officer. “People will have a better experience on the Internet if they do some basic things.”

The campaign stems directly from President Obama’s May 2009 …more