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Rogers: White House “Irresponsible” for Failing to Consult on Cyber Executive Order


House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) said today “it’s irresponsible” that the Obama administration failed to consult with the committee while drafting the impending executive order on cybersecurity.  Speaking at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Cybersecurity Summit, Rogers said “we have been consulted as much as you have been consulted, which is a huge problem. “

“I don’t get it. I don’t understand it. I think it’s irresponsible.  We’re equally as frustrated as you are.” Rogers told the mostly pro-business audience.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes the President’s cybersecurity order, which mirrors to a large degree Senate cybersecurity legislation that failed to pass in August.  The Chamber also opposed that Democractic-backed bill, arguing that it creates an unnecessary regulatory structure.

Rogers said that the White House has also failed to seek private sector input when drafting the order.  “It’s just odd you would do it this way.  Why you wouldn’t want input from the outside is beyond me and that tells me what kind of product you’re going to get too.”

Cyber security legislation, along the lines of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), still stands a chance of passage during the upcoming lame duck session of Congress, Rogers said.  Rogers was a co-sponsor and proponent of that legislation, which established a voluntary cyber threat information sharing framework.  

Boosting the bill’s chance are recent classified briefings some members of Congress have received on “what appears to be a new level of threat from an unusual source that has some very real consequences,” Rogers said.  When pressed on the nature of this new threat, Rogers was vague – “I look really bad in orange,” he quipped.  But he seemed to indicate that perhaps a new nation-state has emerged as a cyber enemy.  “Our concern is nation-states that are gaining capabilities,” was the closest he came to an explanation of the new threat.

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