“Telecommunications companies want President Barack Obama’s administration to rethink a decision that may exempt Google Inc.’s Gmail, Apple Inc.’s iPhone software and Microsoft Corp.’s Windows from an executive order on cybersecurity,” Eric Engleman reports for Bloomberg.
“Obama’s Feb. 12 order says the government can’t designate ‘commercial information technology products or consumer information technology services’ as critical U.S. infrastructure targeted for voluntary computer security standards,” Engleman reports. “Obama’s order is aimed at areas such as power grids, telecommunications and pipelines. The goal is to protect ‘systems and assets whose incapacitation from a cyber incident would have catastrophic national security and economic consequences,’ White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in an e-mail.”
Engleman reports, “Telecommunications and cable companies don’t want to face regulatory burdens and costs that aren’t shared by technology companies, David Kaut, a Washington-based analyst with Stifel Nicolaus & Co., said in an interview. ‘The telecom community is concerned the tech industry is going to get a free pass here,’ Kaut said. ‘You have an ecosystem and only the network guys are going to get submitted to government scrutiny.'”
“Obama’s executive order mirrors parts of a Senate bill that was blocked last year by Republicans who said the standards would be burdensome to industry. Lawmakers are working on new legislation,” Engleman reports. “The Internet Association, a trade group whose members include Google, Facebook, and Amazon.com Inc., urged the White House and Congress to ‘ensure that all Internet services are not subject to regulation,’ the group’s president, Michael Beckerman, said in an e-mailed statement.”
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