ACTION ALERT: The White House is Circulating a Cybersecurity Executive Order_Featured_, Politics Sunday, September 9th, 2012
Stop the Internet Power Grab
In the wake of failed attempt after failed attempt to ram Internet crackdown legislation through congress, first under the guise of stopping piracy, then in the name of cybersecurity (fighting the ‘War on Terror’ online), the Obama administration is considering going around Congress by invoking Executive Authority and imposing tighter Internet regulations unilaterally.
SOPA, PIPA, CISPA, et al were stopped in Congress by a massive outcry of opposition from every corner of the Internet, including blackout protests of top sites like Wikipedia and Reddit. The Internet is one of the few things in our society that works exceedingly well, and the message from the People to the State was clear — “Keep your hands off the Web.”
Given the precarious position of the Obama administration as it struggles to hold onto power in the coming election, substantial exposure and opposition to this proposed executive order should be sufficient to at least forestall implementation. Undoubtedly, this issue will once again come to the fore after the election, regardless of which candidate wins. But that is another battle.
Today, we encourage you to spread this article as far as possible to raise visibility, as well as to the sign this petition to President Obama and make your voice heard.
The White House is Circulating a Cybersecurity Executive Order: Here’s What You Need to Know
(The Next Web) Following the controversial passage of CISPA in the House, and the failure of progress on the issue of cybersecurity in the Senate, talk began that the President might act through executive action.
The Press Secretary mentioned that the President would “do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation against today’s cyber threats.” Later, calls by other’s on the Hill pushed for similar action. Following the collapse of progress in Congress, sans action by the President, cybersecurity is a moot issue, legally, until 2013.
The dangers loom, however, all parties agree.
According to a number of publications, there is a 5 page draft of an executive order out in the capitol, soliciting feedback. The Hill has it in the hands “relevant federal agencies.” According to its report, the order will put into place a ‘voluntary program’ in which companies whose work involves so call critical infrastructure would “elect to meet cybersecurity best practices.”
Interestingly, The Hill states that the standards will only be partially written by the government.
The order goes further. According to the Washington Post, a “special council” composed of government assets would work to uncover ‘threats’ potentially damaging to infrastructure usually deemed as ‘critical.’ Think of the power grid, water systems, and the like.
It’s important to note that what is being discussed in this executive order is milksop compared to the bill that Sen. Lieberman previously crafted, and the President endorsed. At one point, standards were mandatory, and not voluntary. That tenet was dropped in negotiations that ended up fruitless.
What’s the chance that the President does issue such an order as the one under discussion? Sen. Feinstein, member of his party, has spoken strongly in favor of the move previously: “I believe the time has come for you to use your full authority to protect the U.S. economy.”
However, the action is far from certain. Caitlin Hayden, White House spokesperson, told the Post that “an Executive Order is [bold: TNW]: “among the things we’re considering to fulfill the president’s direction to us to do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation against today’s cyberthreats.”
It’s hard to gauge how much momentum, let alone Congressional support, the order has, but the corpse of cybersecurity progress may yet be twitching.