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Telecom group, tech foundation split on Trump cybersecurity order

Cybersecurity

May, 12 2017, 6:24 AM

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order aimed at modernizing and improving the nation's computer networks.

While a major trade group representing communications firms likes the Trump Administration's executive order on cybersecurity, a technology think tank wants more.

Trump's homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said Thursday that  the order will help keep the U.S. safer from cybersecurity risks. Among the new requirements is that agency heads must be accountable for implementing risk management measures.

Trump pledged in late January to strengthen the government's ability to protect its computer networks, but then canceled plans to sign an executive order on cybersecurity without explanation.

The order comes while Trump is under intense scrutiny over his decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, who was leading an investigation into alleged Russian hacking in last year's election and possible ties to Trump associates.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation wasn't entirely pleased.

Daniel Castro, ITIF vice president, declared:

"We are disappointed to see that this executive order is mostly a plan for the government to make a plan, not the private sector-led, actionable agenda that the country actually needs to address its most pressing cyber threats.

"Cybersecurity should be a top priority for the Trump administration. The last administration put together a commission which left a comprehensive set of action items for the new administration to pursue that should have been the starting point for this order. While the executive order checks most of the boxes thematically, it generally kicks the can down the road instead of taking any decisive actions.

We’ll have to wait to see how well this administration can implement its stated goals for cybersecurity. Notably, this order leans heavily on the government for ideas and implementation rather than a public-private partnership approach. This is somewhat surprising given this administration’s belief that the private sector can generally do things better than government. Moreover, the private sector has the deepest bench of cybersecurity talent, so the federal government will likely need to look outside its ranks to stay on top of these issues."

However, the reaction was much more positive from USTelecom.

Said USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter:\

“Securing America’s communications networks is vital to the U.S. economy and the White House’s Executive Order on protecting federal networks and critical infrastructure is a positive step forward in this significant effort. We welcome this important step, and our members will continue working cooperatively with all parts of our government and the broader communications and internet ecosystem in our shared responsibility and common mission to help protect our nation’s critical infrastructure from malicious attacks.”





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