The Obama administration is considering issuing an executive order that would require the Department of Homeland Security to devise a set of cybersecurity guidelines, according to internal administration documents obtained by U.S. News.
The order would do much of what the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)—which the House of Representatives passed in April but failed to pass the Senate—would have done, but with a few key differences.
Various privacy advocacy groups strongly opposed CISPA because it would have allowed private companies to exchange user data with the federal government, most likely the National Security Administration, in exchange for critical cybersecurity information, a provision that the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Greg Nojeim said would have “pre-empted privacy laws” and would have “permitted communication info to flow directly to the NSA.”
“An executive order can’t do the damage that CISPA could have done to privacy because an executive order can’t trump privacy laws,” he says. In April, Obama threatened to veto CISPA, citing privacy concerns, leading Nojeim to suggest that a final executive order would stay away from invading personal privacy issues.
According to White House spokesperson Caitlin Hayden, an executive order “is not close to being done.”
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