"This is part of the reason why it’s going to be so important for Congress to work with us and get an actual bill passed that allows for the kind of information-sharing we need. Because if we don’t put in place the kind of architecture that can prevent these attacks from taking place, this is not just going to be affecting movies, this is going to be affecting our entire economy in ways that are extraordinarily significant," he added.
At a time when public and private networks are facing an unprecedented threat from rogue hackers as well as organized crime and even state actors, the President is unveiling the next steps in his plan to defend the nation’s systems. These include a new legislative proposal to solve the challenges of information sharing that can cripple response to a cyberattack. They also include revisions to those provisions of Obama's 2011 legislative proposal on which Congress has yet to take action.
Obama's updated proposal promotes better cybersecurity information sharing between the private sector and government, and it enhances collaboration and information sharing amongst the private sector. Specifically, the proposal encourages the private sector to share appropriate cyber threat information with the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), which will then share it in as close to real-time as practicable with relevant federal agencies and with private sector-developed and operated Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAOs) by providing targeted liability protection for companies that share information with these entities.
The legislation also encourages the formation of these private-sector led Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations. The proposal would also safeguard Americans’ personal privacy by requiring private entities to comply with certain privacy restrictions such as removing unnecessary personal information and taking measures to protect any personal information that must be shared in order to qualify for liability protection. The proposal further requires the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, in consultation with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and others, to develop receipt, retention, use, and disclosure guidelines for the federal government. Finally, the Administration intends this proposal to complement and not to limit existing effective relationships between government and the private sector.
The proposal also contains provisions that would allow for the prosecution of the sale of botnets, would criminalize the overseas sale of stolen U.S. financial information like credit card and bank account numbers, would expand federal law enforcement authority to deter the sale of spyware used to stalk or commit ID theft, and would give courts the authority to shut down botnets engaged in distributed denial of service attacks and other criminal activity. It also updates the law used to prosecute organized crime, so that it applies to cybercrimes, clarifies the penalties for computer crimes, and makes sure these penalties are in line with other similar non-cyber crimes.
Obama's Administration has also updated its proposal on security breach reporting. State laws have helped consumers protect themselves against identity theft while also encouraging business to improve cybersecurity, helping to stem the tide of identity theft. These laws require businesses that have suffered an intrusion to notify consumers if consumers’ personal information has been compromised.