Sen. Murkowski Comments on Executive Order on Cybersecurity

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement in response to President Obama’s executive order on cybersecurity: 

“I understand that the executive order emphasizes a partnership with the owners and operators of critical infrastructure to improve cybersecurity protections. That’s good but the details will define where we are headed.

“Because information technology is changing at such a quick pace and cyber threats are also evolving at breakneck speed, I remain concerned that the administration will put too much emphasis on standards and unintentionally impede rather than strengthen the ability to respond to a cyber-attack. Our cyber defenses must be nimble.

“In any case, any voluntary measures proposed by the administration cannot undermine or conflict with the mandatory structure for the electric grid that Congress enacted in the 2005 Energy Policy Act or the requirements placed on the nuclear industry by the NRC. The NRC and FERC are independent agencies that are not bound by executive orders, therefore the administration must respect the mandatory requirements already in place at these agencies. 

“Finally, the one thing that an executive order cannot do is what is most needed – provide liability protection for information sharing so that companies and the government can talk to each other. I supported legislation in the last Congress that would have addressed the information sharing issue, but unfortunately it was never brought up for consideration on the floor.”

Murkowski is the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.