President Obama spoke today in Silicon Valley about events affecting cybersecurity and the development of the Internet. During the speech, Obama spoke on four areas that he believes must be improved.
The President's four main priorities were the development and evolution of the Internet, cybersecurity, the rights of individuals in regards to the Internet, and cooperation between the government and companies in these efforts.
Since the advent of the Internet, it has rested mostly in the hands of business in the private sector with limited government regulation. As a result, the Internet has faced some difficulties in its evolution. He said that corporations do not always work well together to defend against cyber threats and have taken advantage of their power over the Internet. The President made it clear that this cannot continue, but the Internet cannot be run solely as a government service, either.
The detection of cyber threats occurs mostly in the private sector, and as a result, in order to protect against these threats, cooperation is mandatory. Obama said it would be impossible for the government to secure the private business. Cooperation between business and the government is mandatory, to ensure that cyber threats are not given the chance to spread and are stopped in all areas when they are first detected.
The President called for the development of a "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights," which will regulate what companies can do with information gathered from individuals. Individuals in turn should have the right to know what information is gathered from them and how it is used. Until now, there has been little regulation on the ability of companies to gather and use this information, even if it violates individual privacy.
Obama acknowledged all the blame does not rest solely on corporations. "Grappling with how government protects the American people from adverse events, while at the same time making sure the American government itself is not abusing its capabilities is hard. The cyberworld is sort of like the wild wild west, and we are asked to be the sheriff," he said.
The President explained that this requirement to protect us against cyber threats forces the government to try to walk the line between invading the privacy of individuals and protecting them. Although the government doesn't want to invade the privacy of individuals, it is hard to separate potential cyber threats from other activity.
At the end of the speech, Obama signed an executive order. The executive order establishes rules to regulate the sharing of information between the private sector and the government. This takes the first step towards achieving the cybersecurity goals the President addressed in his speech today.