President Obama is to speak at a cyber security summit in California today in order to build support for efforts to better protect against cyber threats and share more information about cyber attacks.
The conference will focus on surveillance and how to protect consumers online, with Obama saying cyber security was a “challenge that we can only meet together”.
“It’s going to bring everybody together – industry, tech companies, law enforcement, consumer and privacy advocates, law professors who are specialists in the field, as well as students – to make sure that we work through these issues in a public, transparent fashion,” he said, according to BBC News.
The day-long conference will see the President formally direct the Government and companies to share more information about cyber security threats. Other speakers include Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google vice-president Eric Grosse, Facebook chief information security officer Joe Sullivan and his Yahoo CISO Alex Stamos. Microsoft vice-president Scott Charney and chief executives from Visa, MasterCard and American Express will also appear.
According to Reuters, administration officials have said they would prefer legislation that would require more information sharing and limit any legal liability for companies that share too much, while large technology companies have refused to give full support to cyber security bills without some reform of surveillance practices exposed by Edward Snowden.
In a private meeting with Obama, some leading executives are expected to press again for surveillance reform and support for strong encryption.
The conference follows the announcement of a new Government centre for cyber security, announced this week. According to the Washington Post the new agency will combat the deepening threat from cyber attacks, and its mission will be to fuse intelligence from around the Government when a crisis occurs.
Based on the National Counterterrorism Center, Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said: “It will help ensure that we have the same integrated, all-tools approach to the cyber threat that we have developed to combat terrorism.”