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Obama signs order to protect America’s computer networks

In a move to help protect American online businesses and help them coordinate with US authorities, Obama has signed an executive order that will make federal agencies set up a way of sharing data between technicians in these businesses and federal agents. This information sharing will go both ways, with companies tipping off the feds when they are under threat or about more general threats and likewise federal agencies will publish an intelligence stream of incoming threats that companies might need to made aware of. This sounds a lot like a CISPA information sharing legislation and the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) are not very pleased with it, saying that “New cybersecurity legislation isn’t needed and it wouldn’t have stopped the Sony hack. Instead of proposing unnecessary privacy-invasive bills, we should be collectively tackling the low-hanging fruit. This includes encouraging companies to use the current information sharing regimes immediately after discovering a threat.” They point out that CISPA would allow “private companies new authorities to spy on users and broad legal immunity to share the information obtained with the government”, something that none of us want, not even Obama. White_House_lawn The main difference between this executive order and CISPA is that the latter would limit the liability of companies that share customer information with any government agencies, the executive order does not do this. The White House said the order is “paving the way for future legislation.”, so it looks as though this is more of a temporary bypass of CISPA than a way of killing it entirely. Quite a few companies have agreed to sign up to the cybersecurity framework drafted by the White House, with Apple, Intel, Sony, Microsoft and many antivirus and gaming companies all agreeing to participate. Apple CEO Tim Cook even attended the event that was held in Palo Alto, California and gave a short speech. He said that “If those of us in positions of responsibility fail to do everything in our power to protect the right of privacy, we risk something far more valuable than money, we risk our way of life.” All true but pretty unjustifiable when you are agreeing to use the federal government’s cybersecurity framework, at an event where the federal government announced it would start using Apple Pay. Interestingly Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and Google’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt were all invited but declined to attend. Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE. KitGuru Says: Judging by what we know from the Snowden leaks the US government has access to pretty much whatever it wants, so hopefully this information sharing will mainly be from the government to the companies that are under attack. I don’t see why this is needed however when as the EEF say, methods for sharing this information have existed since 2012. Source: The Register Photo source: Daniel Schwen

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