What did Obama leave out of his final SOTU Address? Cybersecurity

Friday, January 22, 2016 by

(Cyberwar.news) President Obama has presided over some of the most extensive, astonishing cyber-theft of U.S. government and private sector data, but it’s hard to guage how much that matters to him considering that cybersecurity was one subject he completely avoided during his final State of the Union Address last week.

As noted by FierceHomelandIT, the absence of cyber varied from last year’s SOTU when he was urging Congress to move forward with new cyber security legislation, which it did (and which he signed in December, though many electronic privacy experts see it as the second coming of the Patriot Act).

For example, Obama didn’t mention the massive breach of systems belonging to the Office of Personnel Management, believed to have been carried out by China and believed to have involved the breach of more than 21 million current and former U.S. government employees and their close contacts. He also did not mention a sweeping new cyber strategy the Pentagon unveiled earlier this year.

As further noted by FierceGovernmentIT:

Even a handful of innovative digital projects out of the U.S. Digital Service, the General Services Administration’s 18F and the Presidential Innovation Fellows failed to get a shout out.

Indeed, the only time technology came up during the speech was in the context of how it can “work for us, not against us” (a platitude, and primarily as a way to defend against climate change that isn’t real and bolstering the U.S. economy, which certainly needs to happen).

“The reason that a lot of Americans feel anxious, is that the economy has been changing in profound ways, changes that started long before the Great Recession hit and haven’t let up,” Obama told the joint session Congress and television viewers at home.

“Today, technology doesn’t just replace jobs on the assembly line, but any job where work can be automated,” he added.

In addition, the GOP response to Obama’s SOTU, which was provided by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, was similarly devoid of any mention of cybersecurity or protecting our vast Internet-connected infrastructure.

There has been some mention of cybersecurity on the campaign trail for the White House, however, and the source of it should not surprise anyone: On several occasions former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, vying for the Republican nomination, has mentioned how vitally important it is to shore up cyber defenses.

In September, after news that the OPM hack was likely staged by China broke, she said as president she would make future hack attacks “very painful” for Beijing.

“We’ve known for over a decade the Chinese were coming after our most important systems,” she said during an Aug. 23 interview with The Hill.

“We ought to make it very painful for the Chinese to be aggressive in cyber warfare,” Fiorina said.

See also:

FierceGovernmentIT

NationalSecurity.news

The Hill

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