White House reportedly considers cyber executive order

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After Senate Republicans last week blocked the passage of a cyber security bill, the White House is considering reviving the legislation through an executive order, according to a report this weekend.

President Obama may issue an executive order that could require critical infrastructure operators to meet certain standards around network protection, as specified by the federal agencies that regulate these industries, according to a Saturday report in The Hill.

White House press secretary Jay Charney told the newspaper that the Obama administration "is determined to do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation against today's cyber threats and we will do that." The White House released sweeping security proposals in 2011.

One piece of the failed bill, known as the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, that may not be able to make it into an executive order involves making information sharing easier among the private sector and government, according to the report.

On Thursday, the proposal failed to secure the necessary votes needed to bring it to a full Senate vote. The largely Democrat-supported measure would have incentivized those companies that operate critical infrastructure to meet a series of security best practices, as part of a voluntary program. The bill was re-introduced last month to include privacy concessions and rid the enforcement oversight it originally gave to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The bill was opposed by leading business trade groups, many Senate Republicans and some Democrats, who sought further privacy protections.

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