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Obama Calls For New Laws to Bolster Cybersecurity

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President Obama called for legislation to protect the American government and businesses against the threat of cyberattacks.

U.S. President Barack Obama has called on Congress to enact broad cybersecurity legislation.

Credit: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

President Barack Obama on Tuesday called on Congress to pass broad legislation designed to bolster cybersecurity across both the government and private sectors. The proposed legislation would increase penalties and prosecutions of certain cybercrimes and try to incentivize private companies to share cybersecurity threats with the government.

Some specific measures in Obama's proposal would give "targeted liability protection" to companies sharing threat information with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and give law enforcement better tools to prosecute those who run botnets and use them for denial-of-service attacks and other criminal activities.

"We want cybercriminals to feel the full force of American justice, because they are doing as much damage--if not more, these days--as folks who are involved in more conventional crime," Obama said.

The president's announcement came a day after he called for legislation that would compel U.S. companies to be more forthcoming when they are the victims of data breaches affecting consumer credit card and other data.

In addition, the White House announced that Obama will attend a summit meeting on Feb. 13 at Stanford University that will include government officials, business executives, law enforcement officials, and public interest advocates to discuss cybersecurity and consumer protection.

From The New York Times
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