While visiting Stanford University on Friday, President Obama announced he was signing an executive order meant to encourage the sharing of information, regarding cyberthreats, between private sector companies and the government.
The order was signed at the first summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, which focused on consumer protection and private-public partnerships against cyberthreats.
While at the summit, the president likened the internet to the “Wild West,” and said the public are looking to the government for protection against cyber attacks. President Obama also called these cyber attacks one of the greatest threats to national security, safety, and economic issues.
“Everybody is online, and everybody is vulnerable,” said President Obama, according to NBC News. “The business leaders here want their privacy and their children protected, just like the consumer and privacy advocates here want America to keep leading the world in technology and be safe from attacks.”
However, groups in Silicon Valley are not jumping on board with the president’s push for new digital securities.
Ben Desjardins, the director of security solutions with the cyber-security firm Radware, said, “The new proposals face significant headwinds, both legislatively from Congress and cooperatively from heavyweights in the tech sector.” Desjardins also said many companies in Silicon Valley already feel “burned” by the government after the companies learned of the various government surveillance programs through the Snowden leaks.
Scott Algeier, the executive director of the nonprofit organization Information Sharing and Analysis Center, also said this new executive order sounds like a federal takeover of information sharing among people and companies in the private-sector.
The White House has said the executive order is only a framework, and with it the White House aims to allow private companies access to otherwise classified cyber-threat information and ensure information sharing is strongly secure, all while protecting the civil liberties of citizens.
The text of the executive order can be found here for more details.