U.S. presidential commission issues recommendations on cyber security

By Joseph Menn

The U.S. government and the private sector must cooperate to improve the security of digital networks, a U.S. presidential commission on cyber security recommended in a wide-ranging report issued on Friday.

The commission created by President Barack Obama earlier this year also recommended that the president and Congress accelerate the pace at which technology is updated in the federal sector and that the president appoint an ambassador for cyber security for efforts abroad.

“Technological advancement is outpacing security and will continue to do so unless we change how we approach and implement cybersecurity strategies and practices,” the 100-page report said.

Obama said in a statement after meeting the commission’s head, his former national security adviser Tom Donilon, on Friday that his administration strongly supported the commission’s “thoughtful and pragmatic” recommendations.

Obama, who leaves office on Jan. 20, said he had asked the commission to brief the transition team of President-elect Donald Trump at the earliest opportunity.

Among other recommendations, the report urged the United States to seek harmonized international cyber-security policies and global norms of behaviour.

It called for a cyber-security “nutritional label” for impartial product safety ratings, and recommended that the Justice Department and other agencies assess the law on liabilities for harm caused by insecure internet-connected devices.

(Additional reporting by Ayesha Rascoe in Washington)