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Biden signs executive order to improve government response to cyber attacks


(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden signed an executive order Wednesday aimed at modernizing the federal government’s response to cyberattacks — by “improving information-sharing between the U.S. government and the private sector on cyber issues,” improving detection of hacks into federal systems, and creating a “standardized playbook” for how the government responds to attacks, according to the White House.

Facing questions about why the U.S. isn’t better prepared to protect its infrastructure from hacks like the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, the order seeks to bring the federal government more up to speed.

However, while it removes barriers to the private sector sharing info with the federal government about hacks, it stops short of mandating companies like Colonial Pipeline share information. A senior administration official clarified on a call with reporters that the federal government would mandate private companies “doing business with the federal government” share information with it about hacks.

“We pushed the authority as far as we could,” the official told reporters, “and said anybody doing business with the U.S. government will have to share incidents, so that we can use that information to protect Americans more broadly.”

This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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