Menu
Obama resurrects cyberthreat sharing proposal despite privacy concerns

Obama resurrects cyberthreat sharing proposal despite privacy concerns

The president calls on Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation he first proposed in 2011

The centerpiece of U.S. President Barack Obama's new cybersecurity proposal is a controversial plan that would allow companies to share more cyberthreat information with government agencies, something that worries some privacy advocates.

The Obama administration on Tuesday resurrected its May 2011 proposal to give private organizations immunity from lawsuits when they share information about cyberattacks with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other agencies. Congress failed to pass the 2011 proposal in part because digital rights groups raised concerns that it would intrude on the privacy of U.S. residents.

Obama's new proposal, which he will outline further in his State of the Union speech next Tuesday, would encourage private companies to share cyberthreat information with DHS, which would then disseminate the information to other federal agencies and private industry groups.

Data breaches at major retailers and a recent attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment "highlight the growing threat that we face in cyberspace," a senior Obama administration official said during a press briefing Tuesday. "In 2015, we need to make a major push to raise the level of cybersecurity across our country and to improve our ability to disrupt and respond to ... cyberincidents when they occur."

The cyberthreat information that Obama would allow to be shared is "primarily technical data" such as IP addresses, the administration official said. Companies would be protected from lawsuits if they take reasonable steps to remove personally identifiable information, he said. Officials will develop guidelines for the use and retention of the data shared, he added.

Obama's proposal has some similarities to controversial cybersecurity legislation the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act [CISPA], reintroduced in Congress this month. But Obama has opposed a previous version of that bill, saying it didn't have enough privacy protections.

Obama's new proposal also includes a call for Congress to pass a national data breach notification bill requiring breached companies to notify affected customers within 30 days. Obama announced that proposal on Monday.

The cybersecurity proposal will also include new laws allowing for the prosecution of the sale of botnets and the overseas sale of stolen credit card and bank account numbers. The proposal would give courts new authority to order the shuttering of botnets used for distributed denial-of-service attacks, the Obama administration said.

While some digital rights groups may raise questions about new cyberthreat-sharing proposals, trade group the Telecommunications Industry Association [TIA], representing manufacturers and suppliers of communications networks, offered initial praise for the proposal, while saying parts of it needed further analysis.

"We are strongly in favor of cybersecurity legislation that will give businesses more access to government information on threats, open channels for greater information sharing between companies, and enhance private sector liability protection," TIA CEO Scott Belcher said in a statement.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags U.S. White HouseregulationsecurityScott BelcherlegislationgovernmentBarack ObamaTelecommunications Industry Association

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments