Obama warns of cyber threats to US

2012-07-20 14:06

Washington - US President Barack Obama warned of cyber threats to critical US infrastructure and called on Congress to take action in an op-ed published on Friday in the Wall Street Journal.

"The cyber threat to our nation is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face," Obama wrote.

"Foreign governments, criminal syndicates and lone individuals are probing our financial, energy and public safety systems every day."

He cited an incident in 2011 in which a hacker posted pictures of the internal controls of a Texas water plant, and said companies operating natural gas pipelines had also been targeted.

Obama said there had also been increasing attacks on computer systems in the nuclear and chemical industries, raising the prospect of foes targeting critical US infrastructure during war.

"In a future conflict, an adversary unable to match our military supremacy on the battlefield might seek to exploit our computer vulnerabilities here at home," Obama wrote.

"Taking down vital banking systems could trigger a financial crisis. The lack of clean water or functioning hospitals could spark a public health emergency. And as we've seen in past blackouts, the loss of electricity can bring businesses, cities and entire regions to a standstill."

Obama called on Congress to pass legislation to curtail such threats, saying "it would be the height of irresponsibility to leave a digital backdoor wide open to our cyber adversaries".

"For the sake of our national and economic security, I urge the Senate to pass the Cyber security Act of 2012 and Congress to send me comprehensive legislation so I can sign it into law."

  • arthur.hugh - 2012-07-20 14:40

    No better way to get control than to ensure fear.

  • delish7564 - 2012-07-22 00:00

    Scary stuff. If left unchallenged, everything that everyone does will be deemed suspicious and could lead to people being locked up on a whim. Obama really has a nerve complaining about other Governments, when his "guys" can walk into any house in the UK and arrest the people in it without any explanation and imprison them indefinitely and there us nothing anyone can do about it. No wonder Assange is fighting to avoid being sent there, once there he may disappear.......really frightening!!!!!!!

      badballie - 2012-07-23 13:04

      The laws already exist under S1687, which declares US soil internationally to be a battleground and makes provision for the INDEFINITE detention without trail of any US citizen. electronic communications including internet activity is and has been actively monitored by the US security forces for many years under one or other program including but not limited to the active recording and storage of all electronic communications. The same technology is also supplied and maintained by VASTECH locally in South Africa, with the same record and store capabilities.

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