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White House cybersecurity executive order confirmed by letter to Senate

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A letter to the Senate has confirmed that the White House is drafting an executive order on cybersecurity.

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The White House has confirmed that it's drafting an executive order that will urge businesses and government to create cybersecurity best practices. In a letter to the Senate's Chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, John Brennan — the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism — asked for suggestions on a cybersecurity order, saying the Obama Administration was drafting it because of "Congressional inaction" on the matter. This follows reports that the White House would be taking cybersecurity into its own hands with an opt-in framework.

Several cybersecurity bills have come before Congress, including CISPA and the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, but disagreement on what to pass remains strong. Privacy advocates worry that laws like CISPA will give companies carte blanche to share personal information from their user base, and a largely Republican contingent says Obama's preferred solution will be too onerous for businesses. A draft leaked on TechDirt last week, however, mostly dealt with assigning committees to create frameworks for identifying critical infrastructure and sharing data, providing little information on what it would mean for consumers and businesses.