from Net Politics and Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program

Cybersecurity in the State of the Union

State of the Union Net Politics Cyber CFR

January 19, 2015

State of the Union Net Politics Cyber CFR
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The President is expected to dedicate a section of his State of the Union tomorrow to cybersecurity. Last week he introduced a number of new legislative proposals and other efforts focused on: better information sharing between the public and private sector; amendments to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; national breach reporting; and grants to historically black colleges for cybersecurity education.

Net Politics will have more in-depth analysis of the speech on Wednesday if there is significant coverage of cybersecurity. But for those watching tomorrow, here’s a chart of cybersecurity’s previous appearances in the State of the Union. It appeared in the President’s first address to Congress in 2009, and then after a two year hiatus, has returned every year since. The legislative proposals have basically gone nowhere, but the administration has enacted almost every provision of its February 2013 Executive Order.

Year Times "cyber" is  mentioned Quote Action taken
2009      1 To meet the challenges of the 21st century – from terrorism to nuclear proliferation; from pandemic disease to cyber threats to crushing poverty – we will strengthen old alliances, forge new ones, and use all elements of our national power. N/A
2010      0 N/A N/A
2011      0 N/A N/A
2012      1 To stay one step ahead of our adversaries, I’ve already sent this Congress legislation that will secure our country from the growing dangers of cyber-threats. President Obama was referring to his legislative proposal of May 2011. It was one of the outcomes of the Administration’s 2009 comprehensive cyber review. While Congress considered a number of cyber bills that year, none that improved the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure became law.
2013       2 America must also face the rapidly growing threat from cyber-attacks. Now, we know hackers steal people’s identities and infiltrate private emails. We know foreign countries and companies swipe our corporate secrets. Now our enemies are also seeking the ability to sabotage our power grid, our financial institutions, our air traffic control systems. We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and our economy.

That’s why, earlier today, I signed a new executive order that will strengthen our cyber defenses by increasing information sharing, and developing standards to protect our national security, our jobs, and our privacy.

Now, Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to security our networks and deter attacks.

President Obama was referring to the Executive Order on Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. A recent progress update on the order from the Congressional Research Service can be found here.
2014       1 Here at home, we’ll keep strengthening our defenses, and combat new threats like cyberattacks. N/A

 

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