Candice Lanier – The President is considering executive-branch action on U.S. cybersecurity, in response to Congress failing to pass cybersecurity legislation. “If the Congress is not going to act on something like this, then the president wants to make sure that we’re doing everything possible,” John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, said at a Council on Foreign Relations event.
According to Stewart Baker, a former assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security, Obama could accomplish many objectives of the Lieberman-Collins bill with an executive order or other directive. Matthew Eggers,senior director of national security at the Chamber of Commerce, however, disagrees and said that “an executive order would be counterproductive and would cut short the proper legislative process, which needs to continue.”
“An executive order makes clear the administration’s intent to put a mandatory program into place to regulate businesses,” Eggers added.
Additionally, Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) has called on Obama to issue an executive order to try to protect the nation’s electrical grid from cyberattacks. “I’m calling on President Obama to do by Executive Order what Congressional Republicans refuse to do through legislation: protect our nation from the 21st century cyber-armies preparing to wage war on our banking, health care, and defense systems by knocking out America’s electricity grid,” Markey said.