Obama may issue cyber security order in early January

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A cyber security executive order could be issued by President Obama as soon as early 2013, according to White House sources.

James Lewis, director of the technology and public policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told global affairs blog The Hill on Friday that the action wouldn't likely occur after the holiday season.

“It'd be reasonable to say that releasing the executive order now would irritate Congress and might create an unnecessary burden for reaching a deal on the fiscal issues,” Lewis told The Hill's Jennifer Martinez. “Every day they get closer to Christmas it makes less sense to put it out, unless you want to hide it,” Lewis said.

A separate source told the outlet that the order, which will outline the security objectives proposed for critical infrastructure protection, would likely be issued next month. 

In September, Techdirt.com, a blog covering government policy, published a 19-page leaked draft of the White House executive order, which was crafted as a follow-up to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, killed by Senate Republicans in August. A major grievance held about the bill was the effect it would have on private businesses that have a hand in critical infrastructure, and conjecture on whether regulations would become too strict, or costly, as a result of legislation. 

Another executive order draft leaked in November, a seemingly strategic attempt for lawmakers to test the waters before a concrete plan was launched by Obama.

The most recent draft moved to ensure an even-handed approach to security guidance, including introducing incentives that would encourage critical infrastructure companies to voluntarily enlist in a program that supports cyber security standards.

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