Obama Executive Order On CyberSecurity Coming In January

Friday, December 21, 2012
By Paul Martin

Details of secretive directive still unclear

Steve Watson
Dec 21, 2012

Washington insiders say it is almost certain that Barack Obama will once again bypass Congress in the coming weeks and issue an executive order on cybersecurity, a prospect that has worried privacy groups.

The order is expected to place new demands on private companies to share information with the government, intelligence agencies and even the military. Watchdogs fear that the order will allow the federal government to wield excessive power over areas such as water plants, financial systems and the electric grid.

A permanent legislative solution has not been reached, with the latest effort falling flat in August. Obama was expected to issue the order in December. However, insiders say that the economic crisis has stalled those plans.

“It’d be reasonable to say that releasing the executive order now would irritate Congress and might create an unnecessary burden for reaching a deal on the fiscal issues,” said James Lewis, director of the technology and public policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Every day they get closer to Christmas it makes less sense to put it out, unless you want to hide it,” Lewis said.

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