Obama executive order aimed at encouraging companies to share cybersecurity data with government, each other

“President Barack Obama is set to sign an executive order on Friday aimed at encouraging companies to share more information about cybersecurity threats with the government and each other,” Joseph Menn and Roberta Rampton report for Reuters. “The order sets the stage for new private-sector led ‘information sharing and analysis organizations’ (ISAOs) – hubs where companies share cyber threat data with each other and with the Department of Homeland Security.”

“Obama will sign the order at a day-long conference on cybersecurity at Stanford University in the heart of Silicon Valley,” Menn and Rampton report. “The move comes as big Silicon Valley companies prove hesitant to fully support more mandated cybersecurity information sharing without reforms to government surveillance practices exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.”

“Obama has proposed legislation to require more information-sharing and limit any legal liability for companies that share too much. Only Congress can provide the liability protection through legislation,” Menn and Rampton report. “Businesses are unlikely to share a lot of timely and ‘actionable’ cyber intelligence without liability relief, said Mike Brown, a vice president with the RSA security division of EMC Corp. ‘Until that gets resolved, probably through legislation, I’m not sure how effective continued information-sharing will be,’ said Brown, a retired Naval officer and former cyber official with the Department of Homeland Security.”

“Senator Tom Carper, the top Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security committee, introduced a bill this week that incorporates much of Obama’s plan. But Republicans control Congress, and they have yet to sign on to the idea,” Menn and Rampton report. “Getting a bill through Congress will require at least the support of big Silicon Valley companies such as Google Inc and Facebook Inc. Those companies, however, have refused to give full support to cybersecurity bills without some reform of surveillance practices exposed by Snowden that have hurt U.S. technology companies’ efforts to win business in other countries. Google, Facebook and Yahoo are not sending their chief executives to the Stanford conference because of the rift, according to an executive at a major technology company. Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook will give an address.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Apple CEO Tim Cook to speak at White House cybersecurity summit – February 9, 2015


  1. funny how the “big three” (Google, Facebook and Yahoo) who didn’t send their CEO’s to the conference are also the companies who are the worst about personal privacy. this in no means i support this executive. i need to research it more, but i am hesitant. the current administration has proven too heavy handed with its policies – and i just do not trust them any more than i trust the other side. neither has the public interests in mind – only their wallets.

  2. “limit any legal liability for companies”.

    Unprecedented for B’rack to acknowledge that torts effect peoples behavior in a way that is detrimental to the public. He must have gotten special permission from his employers at the Trial Lawyer’s Assn. Or maybe Sheldon Silver, NY State Speaker of Senate, getting caught on the payroll of Trial Lawyers has outed ‘Bama.

  3. The problem with much of tech and Silicon Valley is that they decry data mining by the government yet they do it themselves and their best customer is government.

    Kind of two faced and disingenuous.

    1. How do you pull that interpretation of events out of your bunghole? Do you actually know any history? Do you know what an executive order is? Do you know how various POTUS’s have used them?

      Or are you just another hard line partisan idiot who can’t think for him/herself and gets your jollies jumping on the Obama bash wagon? Why do you waste your time, anyway. He is POTUS through the next inauguration. If you had any brains, you would try to find and support a worthy candidate for the next election, because you sure haven’t done s good job in the past couple of decades.

      1. I know what an executive order is, and I know how it’s SUPPOSED to be used- and that ain’t how it’s supposed to be used.

        And AFAIK, it’s our duty to keep our representatives honest, whether that be by spoken word, active peaceful protest or voting at the election booth. So as long as our POTUS continues to skirt his administrative duties, abide by back-door politics, and lie continually to the American people, I will continue to ‘bash’ away at him and his administration.

  4. This is more like “Show Us How To Hack You Initiative”.
    SUHTHYI, will allow companies to do the work the NSA is increasingly less able to do. Companies can actively participate in the compromise of their customers data under the cover of sharing cyber threat data.
    What a deal.

    1. And who made it possible for the interjection of that “magic word”? You can find him in front of the nearest mirror at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Maybe instead of a pen and a phone tactic, allow the folks at East Capitol St NE & First St SE do their responsibility and if it is not to ‘”One’s” liking, well that’s the way the political ball bounces. Oh, and you just know if the previous WH occupant who wanted certain things passed through legislation but failed in getting it through, that if he then “penned’ it to ‘law’ how the apologists of today would be ranting about abuse of power & impeachment! Eyes. Must. Stop. Rolling.

  5. Let me see if I get this straight. This executive order is “aimed at encouraging companies to share more information about cybersecurity threats with the government”. I can’t see anywhere where the government is going to be sharing information about cybersecurity threats to companies.

    I do see liability protection coming from the government in return for the shared information.

    Gee is this some sort or extortion racket?

    Looks like one more nail in the coffin of a once civilized and free country.

  6. What a stupid waste of paper. No Executive Order can force a private company to do anything. Executive Orders only affect government agencies. Obama can set up all the silly little committees he wants, but until these private companies have their concerns addressed, nothing’s going to change.

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