It’s not clear whether the threat of executive action could trigger greater support for the bill or whether it merely would coalesce opposition.
Top military, intelligence and national security officials have ramped up their warnings to Congress and the American public about the dire cyber threats the U.S. is facing, and the fact that it will only get worse.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has described the threat as the next Pearl Harbor. And intelligence officials issued a landmark report late last year charging China and Russia with methodically stealing high-tech data from U.S. companies in order to boost their own economies.
The next step, according to experts, is hackers, criminals, terrorists or enemy nations taking down critical U.S. industries with computer viruses. More than 80 percent of the country’s critical infrastructure, which includes financial networks, transportation systems and chemical plants, are owned and operated by the private sector.
And experts contend that while some industries, particularly the financial sector, have taken steps to protect their networks, others have not done enough.
“I think we are stuck in a `Groundhog Day’ movie where we’re having the same conversation and nothing is changing,” Cressey said. “At the end of the day, the American people should be asking themselves if critical infrastructure is not secure enough, what action should be taken to make it more secure? And whether or not it’s an executive order or legislation, something needs to be done.”
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
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