Secret Obama cyber-security executive order
President Obama leaked a draft cyber-security executive order last weekend that may infringe on Americans’ freedom and privacy rights on the Internet. Yet Congress appears to be rubber-stamping this secretly drafted power grab. The continuing resolution pending in Congress appears to grant the president authority to implement a secretly drafted plan that has yet to be passed in Congress.
Section 137 of the continuing resolution appropriates $1.2 billion for the Department of Homeland Security for “Federal Network Security that may be obligated at a rate for operations necessary to establish and sustain essential cyber-security activities.” The section further provides that “Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to [Congress] an expenditure plan for essential cyber-security activities.” According to news reports, the administration has a secretly drafted plan ready to go.
Federal News Radio reports that a leaked draft of an Obama executive order “includes eight sections, including the requirement to develop a way for industry to submit threat and vulnerability data to the government.” FNR reports that this draft order is similar to a proposal pending in the Senate drafted by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Steven Bucci of The Heritage Foundation argues that the legislative proposal was “based on a regulatory framework” that is “the wrong way to foster cyber-security.”
Brian Darling is Senior Fellow for Government Studies at The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).