McClatchy Washington Bureau: Obama to unveil cyber security initiatives

Lesley Clark from McClathcy Washington Bureau reprts on cyber security intiatives.

Warning that foreign governments, criminals and hackers target American computer networks “every single day,” President Barack Obama pushed Tuesday for legislation to bolster the U.S. against cyber-attacks.

Obama’s remarks at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center came a day after Islamist jihadist sympathizers hackers tapped into the Twitter and YouTube accounts of the U.S. Central Command. Obama said that no military operations were affected and no classified information was released, but he said the incident is a reminder “that cyberthreats are an urgent and growing danger."

Obama’s plans include a new legislative proposal to promote information sharing between the government and private sector, a summit and grants to historically black colleges for cybersecurity education.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, called the administration’s proposal a “significant step forward in protecting our infrastructure, our economy, and the online security of millions of Americans.”

He said he was pleased the White House endorsed privacy protections by requiring that companies remove personal information before sharing cyberthreat data with DHS or private sector organizations.

“It’s clear that the Chinese are thinking much more seriously about their North Korea policy,” said Sung Kim, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea who serves as the administration’s special representative for North Korea policy. “China’s own interests are harmed when North Korea misbehaves.”

Kim said that the Jan. 2 executive order was just a “first step” in a U.S. response to the Sony attack that is part of a wider policy aimed at forcing Pyongyang to return to international talks on shuttering its nuclear weapons program, ending massive abuses against its people and normalizing its relations with the rest of the world.

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By:  Lesley Clark
Source: McClatchy Washington Bureau