Obama expected to impose executive order on cybersecurity next month

A new executive order aimed at preserving national cybersecurity is likely to be put into effect by President Obama as early as January, experts predict.

The highly anticipated action will not likely be issued this year, as the “fiscal cliff” currently takes priority with legislators.

“It’d be reasonable to say that releasing the executive order now would irritate Congress and might create an unnecessary burden for reaching a deal on the fiscal issues,” James Lewis, director of the technology and public policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Hill.

The issue would be buried if put on the table now, Lewis suggested. Sources tied closely to administration say the order will be put into place in January. White House spokesperson Caitlin Hayden declined to comment on the date of the issue, although she said administration is still deliberating internally.

“Given the gravity of the threats we face in cyberspace, we want to get this right, in addition to getting it done swiftly,” Hayden said.

Republican lawmakers have kept no secret that they strongly oppose any type of cybersecurity executive order. After a related bill failed to pass the Senate in August, Obama administration started working on the executive order, arguing that the threat of a devastating cyberattack on U.S. is too high to ignore.

The Senate bill failed a second time this fall. White House cybersecurity coordinator Michael Daniel has stressed that although would take immediate action, an executive order would be a “precursor to the updated laws we need,” not an alternative for a law.

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