There’s much to be said following President Obama’s State of the Union Address last night. For those of us here at SiliconANGLE, one of the more concerning topics he discussed was of a recent executive order on cybersecurity. While addressing the matter, Mr. Obama urged congress to take action to protect the nation’s computer infrastructure from cyber attacks.
The comments by the president were “calls for unity,” as Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins pointed out. “It was a form of bullying” that Obama used to shame the opposition party into “falling into line.”
Though these sorts of rhetorical claims are not too uncommon in the world of politics, it should be noted that Mr. Obama brought up the topic in context to issues of national security, including it with issues such as nuclear armament. Mr. Hopkins suggested that the president may have been making the issue sound more dramatic than it actually was, and further continuted to suggest that the cyber security executive order signed by the president was limited in potential and lacked any real direction.
Mr. Hopkin’s description of the order summed it up rather nicely, noting “I’m going to sign this order and have somebody about 15 layers beneath me come up with some good ideas that will hopefully slap a band-aid on the problem of security that we have with the United States Government.” He continued on saying, “A call for best practices is literally what it is…A lot of hand waiving.”
“There’s no possible way you can look at this executive order and see anything good coming out of it.”
Powerful words, but considering the executive order is non-binding, and lacks the power to enable agencies to take any action on the matter, Mr. Hopkins actually sees this as a positive measure, in place of a corresponding piece of legislation. “It’s much more complex than any enterprise situation…It’s almost comical to think that it can be done with any type of legislation.”
So then perhaps it’s best that Mr. Obama has issued an executive order, rather than leaving the job to congress, especially given the lampoonery of the highly criticized CISPA bill – a bill described by Mark Hopkins as “nobody wants that – nobody in their right mind seems to think it’s a good idea, but that’s what’s in the bill.”
There’s no question that the government needs to have a secure network, but given the impotence of President Obama’s order, and the laughably bad legislation regarding cyber security in the past, it would seem that perhaps the government would do well to stay out of the realm of cyber security, at least for now.
For more analysis, view Mark Hopkins’ opinions from this morning’s NewsDesk with Kristin Feledy.