Rice University expert available to comment on possible presidential order on cybersecurity

David Ruth
713-348-6327
david@rice.edu 

Jeff Falk
713-348-6775
jfalk@rice.edu  

Rice University expert available to comment on possible presidential order on cybersecurity

HOUSTON — (Sept. 27, 2012) — After a U.S. Senate vote on a federal cybersecurity law was blocked in August, a group of senators is pressuring President Obama this week to move forward and publish an executive order with similar advisory guidelines. Obama has said he would consider such a move.

Christopher Bronk, a fellow in information technology policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and a former U.S. State Department diplomat who specializes in cybersecurity issues, is available to comment on this push and its implications.

Bronk said items considered for the executive order would attempt to give providers of critical infrastructure such as energy, health and transportation clear guidance on what the U.S. government believes is important to public-private partnerships and what objectives may evolve to cope with vulnerability concerns.

“Critics of the order make valid points that regulating cybersecurity may not necessarily produce measurable results,” Bronk said. “However, the latest drafts of proposed law forwarded in the Senate veered away from regulation, at least in the near term.

For the operators of critical infrastructure, government assistance, especially in the area of intelligence and information sharing, may be useful, he said. However, designing such mechanisms would face substantial obstacles due to the U.S. government’s classification of cyber incident and threat data.

“In the energy industry, it is unclear if the executive order will further foster collaboration to stave off the threat of intellectual property theft by electronic means as well as attempts to subvert industrial control systems,” Bronk said.

To schedule an interview with Bronk, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.

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Bronk bio: http://bakerinstitute.org/personnel/fellows-scholars/cbronk 

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Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute sponsors more than 20 programs that conduct research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.  

About Jeff Falk