A group of House Republicans Dec. 21 blasted the White House
for seeking to impose “backdoor” cybersecurity regulations on the private sector
by way of an executive order.
In a letter to President Obama, the lawmakers said that rapid changes in
technology will guarantee the failure of any “static” regulatory approaches.
“Imposing a backdoor regulatory framework through Executive Order will not
solve our cybersecurity challenges,” said the letter, which was signed by more
than 40 House Republicans.
“Instead of preempting Congress' will and pushing a top-down regulatory
framework, your administration should engage Congress in an open and
constructive manner to help address the serious cybersecurity challenges facing
our country,” the letter said.
A White House spokeswoman told BNA Dec. 21 that it had no comment on the
The administration has said that it is weighing the possibility of issuing a
cybersecurity executive order in the wake of a Senate impasse over the issue. A
recently leaked draft
order would call for federal agencies to consider a combination of both
incentives and rulemaking activities to boost cybersecurity in the private
sector (see related report in this issue).
Under the draft order, the Commerce Department would be charged with
coordinating the development of a voluntary cybersecurity program for the
nation's “critical infrastructure” operators that could potentially include
incentives designed to promote industry participation. In addition, regulatory
agencies would be required to determine whether cybersecurity requirements under
current law are adequate.
By Alexei Alexis
Full text of the Republican letter is available at http://op.bna.com/der.nsf/r?Open=csaz-938242.
Full text of the November draft order is available at http://op.bna.com/der.nsf/r?Open=sbay-936w5q.