Yesterday President Obama signed an executive order directing federal agencies to develop voluntary best cyber security practices for key industry sectors and to create a system for broader public-private information sharing, and today administration officials have been speaking at an event highlighting the order. The Order places primary responsibility for managing cyber security in the hands of the Department of Homeland Security. Under the Order, the government will also be identifying baseline data and systems requirements for the government to allow the exchange of information and intelligence, and will be producing and disseminating unclassified cyber threat reports. The Order also seeks to increase information sharing within the government and with the private sector, looking for options to improve the public-private partnership in both physical and cyber space and to streamline the process of information sharing.
Deputy Attorney General James Cole, speaking at today’s event, emphasized that this would be done without violating the Administration’s commitment to protecting privacy and civil liberties. He mentioned that each federal department and agency is required to develop and implement privacy and civil liberties safeguards in connection with their cyber space activities, and must also assess the safeguards and their implementation, with the results of the assessment sent to the DHS Chief Privacy Officer and Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to be included in a public report.
Keep watch here for further analysis of the Executive Order and industry reactions to it.