Democratic senators call for ‘cybersecurity’ executive order

Two Democratic senators are urging President Obama to direct his administration to publish “advisory” guidelines through an executive order on cybersecurity.

In a letter (PDF) sent to the White House today, Delaware’s Christopher Coons and Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal say it’s time for an executive order “directing the promulgation of voluntary standards” by the Department of Homeland Security.

It’s hardly clear that the vast Homeland Security bureaucracy — which has received plenty of failing cybersecurity grades from congressional overseers — is best-equipped to advise the private sector on how to secure networks and critical infrastructure.

But after a planned vote last month on federal legislation was derailed thanks to Democrats insisting on new regulations, and Republicans steadfastly opposing them, Coons and Blumenthal say that voluntary standards are better than nothing.

The GOP-controlled House in April approved a competing bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, which would have permit Internet companies to hand over confidential customer records and communications to the National Security Agency and other portions of the U.S. government. (Read More)

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