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U.S. Senate Republicans yesterday killed cybersecurity legislation backed by President Barack Obama, increasing prospects the White House will implement some of the bill’s provisions through an executive order.
Administration officials have continued to warn about cyber threats capable of widespread damage. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in a speech in New York last month said computer assaults by other countries or extremist groups could be as destructive as the Sept. 11 attacks
The legislation, introduced in February by Senators Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, and Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, would have created voluntary cybersecurity standards for companies that operate infrastructure such as power grids and chemical plants considered essential to U.S. national security. The bill also would have encouraged companies and the government to share information on cyber threats
Obama signs secret directive to help thwart cyberattacks
President Obama has signed a secret directive that effectively enables the military to act more aggressively to thwart cyberattacks on the nation’s web of government and private computer networks.
Presidential Policy Directive 20 establishes a broad and strict set of standards to guide the operations of federal agencies in confronting threats in cyberspace, according to several U.S. officials who have seen the classified document and are not authorized to speak on the record. The president signed it in mid-October.