With Obama cyber executive order, we don’t need new legislation

by on February 22, 2013 · 2 comments

Politicians from both parties are now saying that although President Obama took comprehensive action on cybersecurity through executive order, we still need legislation. Over at TIME.com I write that no, we don’t.

Republicans want to protect businesses from suit for breach of contract or privacy statute violations in the name of information sharing, but there’s no good reason for such blanket immunity. Democrats would like to see mandated security standards, but top-down regulation is a bad idea, especially in such a fast-moving area. But as I write:

>Yet guided by their worst impulses – to extend protections to business, or to exert bureaucratic control – members of Congress will insist that it is imperative they get in on the action.

>If they do, they will undoubtedly be saddling us with a host of unintended consequences that we will come to regret later.

The executive order does most of what Congress failed to do in its last session. What Congress could add now is unnecessary and likely pernicious. The executive order should be given time to work. Only then will Congress now if and how it might need to be “strengthened.”

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