Executive order could be used to issue Cybersecurity Bill

Computers are becoming a part of everything. Your car, your entertainment, your government, and your country's infrastructure. Defending the infrastructure of a country when it runs on a computer is stressful. People are going to be trying to hit it so they can score some internet cool points to brag about.

Obama could be weighing up an executive order on how best to maintain his country's cybersecurity. The White House has not ruled out an executive decision on the matter if Congress cannot decide for itself. The official explanation for a cybersecurity bill is to "strengthen the nation's defenses". While that's a very understandable goal, the approach taken has seen some opposition from the public and from the Republican party.

Recently, Obama has warned a successful cyber-attack on a bank, water system, electrical grid, or hospital could have devastating consequences. This, of course, would be a problem if it happened. If it did then there are lives at stake and millions of dollars, if not billions.

Republicans argued that the bill would burden businesses with regulations ineffective regulations that simply appear effective. The Republican opposition led to the bill being altered. It was watered-down; made less controlling, and more Republican friendly. They weren't sold on it. The bill was still rejected in Congress. An executive order from the top could simply sidestep Congress. You disagree, Republicans? Tough luck.

When Obama pushes something past Congress it is something he considers too urgent to let wait. Congress can be slower to decide on a bill, and if he feels it is urgent it can be rushed past them. Senior Fellow of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Jim Lewis, has stated that Obama could allow many of the core tenets of the Cybersecurity Act through without any real opposition.

Companies managing major computer systems are already heavily regulated. Lewis opposes the idea of an executive order. An order could mean agencies regulating everything to ensure it's all in tip-top shape. He contests that, saying that you don't need a new authority to maintain things when these companies and organizations already are doing it well enough. If Obama uses an executive order to enter any legislation, he is open to ire from Republicans.

They have opposed the Cybersecurity Act for some time now, and Obama simply pushing it through could be enough to cause some significant backlash. That wouldn't be good, since what Obama does here is going to be in the public's memory. Elections campaigns are ongoing, and therefore what Obama does here could be a deciding factor. Whether he passes an executive order or not remains to be seen. What he will gain or lose from it is also very difficult to truly measure, though it would certainly be interesting to discover.

Source: The Hill

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