Obama to Tech World: Share Your Cyberthreats With Us

But Facebook, Yahoo, Google CEOs won't attend today's cybersecurity summit
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2015 9:56 AM CST
Obama to Tech World: Share Your Cyberthreats With Us
President Barack Obama, left, waves upon his arrival at San Francisco International Airport with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, right, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

In the wake of the Sony hack, President Obama will be speaking at a cybersecurity summit at Stanford University today, where he plans to sign an executive order calling for companies to share cyberthreats, both with the government and each other. But the CEOs of at least three major Silicon Valley players won't be there to see it happen, Reuters reports. Instead, chief execs from Facebook, Google, and Yahoo are sending their top security underlings to the summit, where Obama will push for ISAOs, or "information sharing and analysis organizations," to link companies and the Department of Homeland Security. One security expert says the administration shouldn't expect to see much "actionable" sharing unless the companies' legal liability is limited; Reuters notes it's up to Congress to grant that via new laws.

Many companies are still spooked by NSA surveillance tactics revealed by Edward Snowden, and they're embroiled in a fight with the White House over encryption and access. (Apple and Google have tightened smartphone encryption and resisted efforts by law enforcement to gain back-door entry into data for investigations, Bloomberg notes.) And companies are miffed about government collection of "zero-day flaws"—software bugs it mines and exploits without informing the manufacturers; the companies have been hiring what the Times calls "bug hunters" to neutralize the flaws before they're found. As one cyberissues expert tells the New York Times, "What has struck me is the enormous degree of hostility between Silicon Valley and the government. The relationship has been poisoned, and it's not going to recover anytime soon." (More President Obama stories.)

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