December 12, 2017
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Obama seeks enhanced cybersecurity laws to fight hackers

Obama told reporters he has already discussed the issue with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (AFP)

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will announce a renewed push to beef up US cybersecurity laws after recent headline-grabbing hacks against companies like Sony Pictures and Home Depot.

Obama will throw his support behind efforts to give liability protection to companies that quickly share information about attacks, but will require strict protections for personal information, the White House said in a statement.

Obama also will propose new powers for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute cybercrime.

The White House will build momentum for the legislative move at a cybersecurity summit slated for Feb. 13, an event that will take place not at the White House, but in Silicon Valley, at Stanford University.

Obama has elevated cybersecurity to the top of his 2015 agenda, seeing it as an area where cooperation is possible with the Republican-led Congress, and will send the legislation to Capitol Hill immediately.

Obama told reporters he has already discussed the issue with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"I think we agreed that this is an area where we can work hard together, get some legislation done and make sure that we are much more effective in protecting the American people from these kinds of cyberattacks," he said.

The government itself has not been immune from cyber problems. On Monday, social media accounts for the US military command that oversees operations in the Middle East were hacked by people claiming to be allied with Islamic State militants.

"With the Sony attack that took place, with the Twitter account that was hacked by Islamist jihadist sympathizers yesterday, it just goes to show how much more work we need to do, both public and private sector, to strengthen our cyber security," Obama said.

Obama, who is previewing initiatives in his Jan. 20 State of the Union address, will speak about his cyber proposals on Tuesday at the Department of Homeland Security's cybersecurity nerve center at 3:10 pm. ET (2010 GMT).

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Tags:  World  US  Obama  Cybersecurity  

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