Obama to ‘bypass Congress’ on CISPA with cybersecurity executive order
11 February, 2013
Unable to reach a deal with Congress, President Obama plans to use his power to exert executive actions against the will of lawmakers. The president will issue orders addressing controversial topics including cybersecurity.
Although President Obama has issued fewer executive orders than any president in over 100 years, he is making extensive plans to change that, Washington Post reports quoting people outside the White House involved in discussions on the issues. Due to conflicts with a Congress that too often disagrees on proposed legislation, Obama plans to act alone and is likely “to rely heavily” on his executive powers in future, according to the newspaper.
Obama’s first executive order is expected to be issued this week when the president calls for the creation of new standards on what private-sector companies must do to protect their computer systems from a cybersecurity breach.
The order is a direct response to Congress’ refusal to pass the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) last year, which the administration deemed crucial to prevent crippling attacks on the nation’s infrastructure. But members of Congress who opposed the legislation cited serious privacy concerns with giving the government greater access to Americans’ personal information that only private companies and servers might have access to.
Despite opposition from lawmakers, the president will use his executive powers to issue an order addressing cybersecurity initiatives.
“It is a very dangerous road he’s going down contrary to the spirit of the Constitution,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) told the Washington Post. “Just because Congress doesn’t act doesn’t mean the president has a right to act.”