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Tracking the Promise and Progress of Obama’s Cybersecurity Plan

When the White House released its review and recommendations for the current state of cybersecurity policy, CDT applauded the Administration for showing attentiveness to the concerns of privacy and civil liberties groups by constructing the report in a collaborative and open manner. The level of transparency and knowledge sharing demonstrated in the creation of the report will need to be illustrated in the implementation of these recommendations as well. Now comes the hard part, living up to the hype and honoring the “action items” contained in that report while ensuring that a cybersecurity policy is implemented that keeps the nation safe from threats without jeopardizing the openness of the Internet or the privacy of its citizens.

To help keep the process moving, CDT has created a report tracking the progress of this “cybersecurity to-do list.”   The action items outlined in our report were derived from the Administration’s review as well as the President’s remarks on the document.   The original document is based on three broad, though essential themes.

The first of those themes is promoting the value of privacy.   As the report notes, protections for individual privacy are essential to reaping the benefits from advancements in informational technology.   The second is that privacy rights must be clearly defined and enumerated.   Clear, detailed policies are needed, as privacy rights are extremely vulnerable to advances in technology.   Lastly, making sure that any plan aimed at protecting privacy rights be the product of a coordinated effort between the technology side and the policy side.

Using the report we released today as a benchmark, CDT will continue to push the Administration to honor the pledges made in that report and to maintain the same openness and attention to privacy concerns as were shown during the information gathering phase of he report.