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Draft order seeks to improve US digital defenses

2 years ago September 10, 2012 Sep 10, 2012 Monday, September 10 2012 Monday, September 10, 2012 2:37:50 PM EDT in News
Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is preparing an executive order with new rules to protect U.S. computer systems, after Congress failed earlier this summer to pass a cybersecurity bill. The Associated Press obtained a draft of the order.

The provisions include voluntary standards for companies, a special council run by the Homeland Security Department and new regulations covering especially vital systems. But just weeks before the election, the White House risks a backlash from Republicans and the same groups that killed the plan on Capitol Hill.

National security officials have warned electric grids, water plants, banks and other essential industries operated by the private sector are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Yet there are deep divisions over the best approach for protecting these systems.

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